Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Little Ears" and "Baby Butts"

An odd title indeed for a very yummy pasta dish. Today I made a one-dish vegetarian meal for my family. I used orecchiette (which in Italian means "little ears") pasta and chickpeas/garbanzo beans.  (Years ago I met someone who told me that, to her, chickpeas look like "babies' butts.........and I've never forgotten that.)

Photo http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/
So, what can you do with pasta and chickpeas? Well, of course, pasta needs no explanation! But chickpeas are great too. They are a great source of protein and dietary fiber--and you can buy them already cooked for about a dollar (or less). So, here's what is happening in my kitchen:

Orecchiette/Garbanzo Casserole
1 cup (uncooked) orecchiette pasta
3 carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 cup vegetable broth*
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup feta cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, cook carrots in covered saucepan or steam until crisp/tender. Drain and set aside.

In large pan saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add carrots and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn golden brown. Add minced garlic and garbanzo beans and cook another 5 minutes.

Add pasta to pan along with vegetable broth and seasonings. Turn heat to low and simmer until almost all of the broth is absorbed and pasta is tender. Sprinkle on feta cheese, cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve.

     *I actually used mushroom broth. You could use vegetable or chicken

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