A vibrant Tunisian pasta flavored with harissa and carom seeds. This is a complete meal packed with proteins from chickpeas, and veggies like spinach and mushrooms. The sparkling flavors will dance on your tongue for a long time. Here’s something fresh, spicy, clean and SIMPLE to keep you feeling fit while you go about the business of enjoying another shiny new year: my Pasta with Tunisian Spices.
This is an easy pasta for a weeknight, and it would be pretty great with couscous, but I had some pastina– really tiny, star-shaped pasta and I thought I’d use it up.
What I really love about this pasta sauce is that it is packed with vibrant, bold flavors: there’s coriander here and cumin and carom seeds (ajwain), and there’s the fiery burst of garlic and chilies from the Harissa (I almost always have this paste on hand because it’s such a great flavor booster for curries and stews).
For some extra bite in the pasta and texture, I added some mushrooms. For more nutrition, I added chopped greens. And for protein, I added some rotund, creamy chickpeas. It was, hmm, pretty perfect.
Before I share the recipe, I want to thank all of you for sticking with me through 2014, and for coming along on this wonderfully mysterious ride that’s going to be 2015. Here at Holy Cow! you will continue to find the fresh, flavorful, healthy and above all EASY vegan recipes that I prefer personally (and know you do too!) not just as a working mom but also as a non-superwoman who needs (and likes) a breather every now and then. As for resolutions, I don’t have any this year except to lose weight– a perennial favorite, I would guess, for anyone who loves to eat as much as I do.
And I have a similar resolution, too, for my beloved Opie who will be 13 this year, and is valiantly carrying on despite severe arthritis. Opie is hypothyroid and has a tendency to gain weight and while putting him on a homemade diet has helped, he could still stand to lose a couple of pounds. Of course, he still manages to look perfect. See for yourself.
Right now, as I write this post, he is sitting next to me on the bed, looking out of the window for anyone– animal or human–he can call out to in his authoritative voice.
And he specifically wanted to say this to you: May your new year be filled with more treats than your tummy can handle.
Happy new year, all!
Pasta with Tunisian Spices
- 14 ounces of a tiny pasta like orzo or pastina
- 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked until tender (substitute with 5-6 cups of canned chickpeas)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 heaping tbsp minced garlic
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 5 cups leafy greens like spinach or swiss chard or a mix
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 large tomato, minced
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp carom seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 heaping tbsp Harissa paste (see notes below for recipe)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta per package directions. Drain.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil and add the onions and garlic
- Add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened.
- Add the mushrooms, tomatoes and leafy greens along with all powdered spices.
- Stir, until the mushrooms turn softer and the greens wilt.
- Add the cooked pasta, chickpeas and harissa to the pot. Stir everything well together to mix. Add salt to taste.
- If desired, garnish with some chopped, fresh greens for freshness and texture.
- Serve hot or cold.
A slightly late (I know, I’ve been a bit slow with posting) thank you to the lovely Perri of the blog, Vegan When Sober, who featured an interview with me a couple of weeks back. Head on to her blog, not so much to read more about me but to nosh on some of Perri’s amazing vegan treats like Potato-less Mashed Potatoes and No-Bake Chocolate Hemp Truffles. Yum. I could stay forever.