Some time off from work recently meant more time to play in the kitchen. Unfortunately, most of my experimentation yielded disappointing results. First, there was the smoothie that just wasn’t good (it involved cocoa butter). Then there was the kuri dip that never came to be. The recipe sounded so great in my head and I was eager to finally roast the beautiful red squash that had been sitting around in my kitchen for the last few weeks or months. But apparently winter squash does not actually last forever. After I cut it up and roasted in in olive oil and tasted it, I realized that no amount of spices would mask the bitterness. So into the compost bin it went. Then the next day, Saturday, I screwed up toffee cinnamon oatmeal cookie bars. I still want to try them again, but next time I’ll use almond flour like the recipe calls for and not ground almonds (too coarse). I should also probably get an oven thermometer. Anyway, that night, after a mini adventure of climbing over snow banks and trudging through blizzard winds to check on the car, I decided to keep dinner simple. And it was just right.
*To toast the pine nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes, watching closely, just until lightly browned and fragrant.
12 oz pasta
5-6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes
5 oz spinach, thawed if frozen
1/3 cup chopped marinated roasted red peppers, drained
1 cup cooked/14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
handful of toasted pine nuts, optional
sea salt and black pepper
squeeze of lemon
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil into a large pan and cook garlic and red pepper flakes over medium low heat for a few minutes, watching closely and agitating frequently, until fragrant.
- Stir in roasted red peppers and spinach, turn up the heat. Cover and cook for about a minute or two to let spinach wilt.
- Remove lid, lower heat, and stir in chickpeas. Cook for another couple of minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
- Combine with pasta, drizzle with a bit more olive oil, and top with pine nuts (if using).
Yield: About 4 servings