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Chickpea Orecchiette with Arugula Horseradish Pesto

Serves 5


    Chickpea Orecchiette with Arugula Horseradish Pesto

    Together, arugula pesto and hazelnuts add a whisper of bitterness to this dish that offers a fresh take on pasta night to welcome spring. Tossing chickpeas into the mix adds some satiating plant-based protein. If orecchiette pasta is not available, other shaped noodles such as penne work as stand-ins.


    Boiling point

    To jumpstart your pasta cooking water, bring a kettleful of water to a boil, pour into a large saucepan, and then add any additional hot tap water. This will reduce the amount of time it takes a pot of water to come to a boil.


    Chickpea Orecchiette with Arugula Horseradish Pesto


    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) hazelnuts
    • 5 cups (1.25 L) arugula
    • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) prepared horseradish
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3/4 lb (340 g) orecchiette pasta
    • 2 cups (500 mL) cooked or canned (rinsed and drained) chickpeas
    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) sliced sundried tomatoes


    Per serving:

    • calories525
    • protein17g
    • fat20g
      • saturated fat2g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates74g
      • sugars8g
      • fibre10g
    • sodium230mg



    Heat oven to 350 F (180 C).


    On baking sheet, spread hazelnuts out and roast for 12 minutes, giving pan a shake once halfway through cooking. Test a hazelnut by slicing it in half to see if its centre is a couple of shades darker. If not, roast for another couple of minutes. Let nuts cool and then slice in half.


    For arugula pesto, in food processor bowl, place arugula, horseradish, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and salt, and blend until greens are broken down. With machine running, slowly pour olive oil in through the top feed tube.


    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, stir, and return to a boil. Adjust heat so water boils gently and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup (60 mL) cooking water and drain pasta. Return pasta to pot and add arugula pesto. Slowly add in reserved pasta water so arugula pesto mixes evenly through the pasta. Gently stir in chickpeas and sundried tomatoes.


    Divide pasta among serving plates and scatter on hazelnuts. Squeeze fresh lemon juice overtop.



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