Monday, 13 February 2012

A Vegetative State of Mind: Chick Pea Pasta

 If you haven't already noticed, there's a theme in all the previous meals I've posted here on Bachelor Chow....

Meat. And lots of it.

Now, as an unabashed carnivore, this is just in my nature. But I've been asked by some loyal readers to branch out and try making something a little more vegetarian friendly.

However, I am a firm believer that every proper meal should contain complex carbohydrates, fibre and protein, the latter of which is hard to find in vegetarian cuisine.  Essentially, I needed a meat substitute. Tofu wasn't going to cut it. My solution?

Chick Peas (AKA Garbonzo Beans - that's some good re-branding) are a protein- and fibre- rich legume used in foods across the planet, especially in predominantly vegetarian cultures. I discovered their goodness when I first tasted hummus, the versatile dip/spread made from chick peas and ground sesame paste. Now seems like a good time to try them a new way.

Plus, they're cheap as dirt, which is nice.

So instead of my normal pasta sauce, which is normally about 50% ground beef, I swapped in some chick peas. I hoped their mushy texture would make a a thick, hummus-y sauce. Full disclosure: I was inspired a bit by this recipe, but I also diverted from it a lot. Mine turned out better, anyways.

  • 1 Can of Chick Peas
  • A handful of spinach  
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • Tomatoes (1-2 fresh ones if you have them, but I only had canned.)
  • Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic to suit your tastes.

After doing a little research, I found most people suggested cooking chick peas using a pressure cooker. I do not own a pressure cooker. However, I didn't let that stop me. Knowing that pressure is simply the amount of force per unit of area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of said area, I concluded that a pan with a lid was probably pretty damn close.

Cook the strained and rinsed chick peas, in about 2 cups of water, for 30 minutes on medium.

First sighting of anything green on Bachelor Chow.

Add the onions and spinach (and any other veggies you want), put the lid back on and continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes. Add water if needed - I had to.

Damn, that's a sexy thumb.

When the chick peas are easily smushed with the back of a spoon, they are ready. Turn down the heat to a simmer and mash the beans thoroughly, until they form a paste. Add salt, pepper and any other seasoning.

Add your tomato. I used about 1 cup of the canned, crushed tomatoes, but 2 fresh Roma tomatoes would've been ideal. Stir enthusiastically. Simmer for another 20 minutes.

Cook your favourite pasta (these are whole wheat bowties) throw a couple scoops of this stuff on, serve and enjoy. I garnished with a little feta cheese (sorry, vegans.)

The final result was delicious; a rich, savoury sauce that emulated the texture of bolognese while being just as satisfying to the stomach. I will definitely try this again.


Hope you enjoy. Please leave any comments or any meal suggestions you have below!


  1. This looks great Matt. Thanks for accepting the challenge.

  2. Looks pretty good Matt. I think you should try to make a lasagna with a cream sauce!

  3. "Stir enthusiastically" lol nice.

    I'd like to see more veggie dishes!! How about a PAD THAI, or curry of some sort? Explore that fabulous world of tempeh and tofu! It's yum yum...

  4. Yummmm, I love chick peas! Sounds like a good combo to me.

  5. I agree! More veggie dishes! Embrace vegetarianism! hahah This looks amazing though. I am going to attempt this soon!

  6. Looks awesome Matt! Thanks for the great veggie option. I have addded it to my must-try recipe list.