Tuesday, May 19, 2009

vermicelli nests with chickpeas, spinach and tomato

there were a couple of factors working against us cooking a big dinner on sunday:

1. it was hot. really hot. the kind of hot that makes you really not want to hang out in a tiny kitchen with the stove and oven cranking along.

2. sunday morning was bay to breakers. as we made our way to the panhandle to watch the craziness, bloody marys and mimosas in tow, there was really no telling how much cooking we would be up for later in the day.

keeping this in mind saturday afternoon as i looked through my cookbooks i thought this simple, fast pasta recipe was a perfect fit....assuming we didn't cave in to take out (we didn't. obviously.).

i really enjoyed this dish. it's light and fresh and easy and tasty. it also uses white wine so pick one that's yummy and you can enjoy a nice chilled glass as you eat this on a hothot day.

vermicelli nests with chickpeas, spinach and tomato

(from the mediterranean vegan kitchen, makes 4-6 main course servings)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup dry white wine
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 pound fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
8 ounces fresh spinach, stemmed, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
pinch sugar
salt and black pepper to taste
12 ounces vermicelli, capellini, or spaghettini

in a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. add the garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. add the chickpeas and toss to coat with the garlic and oil. add the wine and thyme. bring to a boil over high heat.

add the tomatoes, spinach, sugar, salt and pepper. toss well to thoroughly combine and remove the skillet from the heat. set aside until the tomatoes are just warm to the touch, about 5 minutes.

meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente; drain well.

arrange equal amounts of the pasta in small circular piles (like nests!) in the bottoms of bowls. divide the chickpea and tomato mixture evenly among the bowls. pour the remaining liquid from the skillet evenly over all and serve.


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