A Quick and Tasty Meatless Monday Idea with Uncomplicated Ingredients

I love meat, chicken, fish, and seafood! As a result, most of the meals I make has one of those elements in it!  Like many other people these days, I am aware of the value of adding meatless meals to my diet so I’m trying a few new things every now and then.  I came up with this idea this week based on ingredients I already had on hand.  I am a great believer in making meals with what you have in the house already rather than running to the grocery store daily.  If you plan your pantry and fresh ingredients with a variety of food you enjoy, having a peek inside will provide you with lots of options for quick and tasty meals.  (As you might know, “justlookinthefridge” is one of the hashtags I frequently use on Instagram).

This penne with chickpeas, tomato sauce, and grilled zucchini came together in no time and was very satisfying.  It’s also a very economical dish to make.  It’s a vegetarian dish and can also be gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta.  If you don’t like tomato sauce or don’t have any on hand, you can dress the pasta with extra virgin olive oil, a bit of lemon juice, lemon zest, fresh herbs and a bit of the pasta water.  Using the salty, starchy pasta water adds flavour and helps the sauce stick to the pasta.  Also, don’t forget to serve your pasta dishes in heated bowls or plates.  This helps the food stay warm longer and avoids adding condensation to the dish when hot meets cold.  I usually warm my plates in the oven at about 200 degrees F. for about 10 minutes.

I used grilled zucchini for this dish because the green colour of the skin adds visual interest to the dish.  Remember, we eat with our eyes too!  (Also, that’s what I had in the fridge!).  Grilling the zucchini adds extra flavour.  If you don’t have zucchini any other green vegetable would work too.

If you have leftovers, put them in an oven safe dish, top with parmesan and mozzarella and bake in oven until cheese melts for a cheesy casserole version for another night.

If you are unsure if Meatless Monday is for you, give this a try because it’s budget-friendly and won’t take a lot of time.  Let me know how it goes – and please share any favourite meatless meal ideas that work for you.

Go to the recipes tab for a clean printable version of the recipe including the notes.

Happy Cooking friends!

Chickpea Tomato Penne

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion (I use Vidalia or sweet onion.  Green onions would work too)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
  • 1 grilled zucchini (chopped) – you can also use uncooked zucchini
  • About 450 grams cooked penne
  • About ⅓ cup pasta water
  • About 1 litre of tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Saute onion and garlic in hot olive oil until soft and fragrant (about 2 to 3 minutes)
  2. Add chickpeas to the pan and cook to combine flavours about 3 minutes.  If using uncooked zucchini, add it to the pan and cook for another minute or two.  (Grilled zucchini can be added at the end). Add a little salt and pepper
  3. Reduce heat to low and cover
  4. Add penne to large pot of boiling salted water and cook until ‘al dente’ (about 10 minutes)
  5. While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce in another pot
  6. Drain cooked pasta, reserving about ⅓ cup pasta water
  7. Return pasta to the large pot.  Add chickpea mixture, pasta water, grilled zucchini and tomato sauce.  Toss to combine. Serve in heated bowls with grated parmesan and fresh herbs

Variations:  

  • Instead of adding tomato sauce in step 7, add extra virgin olive oil, a bit of lemon juice, lemon zest and fresh herbs
  • Add whole baby spinach leaves at the end to either version
  • If you’ve got leftovers, put them in an oven safe dish, top with parmesan and mozzarella and bake in oven until cheese melts for a cheesy casserole version

recipe by: everydayhomegourmet.blog/  

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