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Creamy Red Pesto Pasta with Spicy Chickpeas

Red pesto pasta with chickpeas and arugula on top.

Red pesto pasta with spicy chickpeas, creamy sun-dried tomato red pesto (pesto Rosso), and walnuts for the ultimate vegan pasta dinner. 

Ingredients

Units Scale

Crispy chickpeas

  • 1 can chickpeas (15 ounces/400 grams), drained but not rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

 

Pesto

  • 2 red bell peppers, quartered with the seeds and core removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) sundried tomatoes, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Pasta

 

  • 16 ounces (450 grams) of pasta
  • Reserve 1 - 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. (220 C.).
  2. Place the peppers and garlic on a lined baking tray, skin side up. Bake the peppers for 25 minutes or until they start to get soft and brown.
  3. Add the chickpeas to a container with a lid or bowl and sprinkle them with the smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Shake or mix the spices with the chickpeas.
  4. Spread the chickpeas on a lined baking tray and add them to the oven along with the red peppers and garlic. Roast the chickpeas until they are firm and slightly brown (about 20 minutes). Toss them a few times as they cook. Set the chickpeas aside when they are done until you finish the dish.
  5. When the peppers have roasted for about 15 minutes, start the water for the pasta. When the water reaches boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 ½ cups of the cooking water.
  6. To make the pesto, add the sundried tomatoes, walnuts, miso paste, lemon juice, and red chili flakes to a food processor or blender. As soon as the peppers are brown, remove them from the oven and slide them and the garlic into the food processor. Blend the pesto until it is smooth.
  7. Return the drained pasta to the cooking pot or place it in a large bowl. Mix the pesto with the pasta and add the reserved water a little at a time.
  8. Mix half of the chickpeas, then add the rest as a garnish. 

Notes

  • If you use dry-packed (dehydrated) sundried tomatoes and do not have a high-speed blender, soak them by adding them to a small bowl and covering them with water.
  • You can also make this recipe using jarred roasted peppers. Use 2 jars; if they are packed in oil, wash them with warm water to help release the oil.
  • Store red pesto pasta in the fridge for 4 days. You can also freeze pesto for 3 months. 

Keywords: creamy red pesto pasta with spicy chickpeas, pesto Rosso pasta