One of the food resolutions I made in January was to try and prepare more interesting vegetable dishes. We always have at least one vegetable with each meal but they are generally uninspired. Think your standard side of (boiled) peas, corn, carrots. I have also been known to roast a vegetable or two in my day (asparagus and cauliflower) but I never go all out and prepare a main course that one could consider vegetarian.
Lately a lot of my culinary experiments come about owing to some random ingredient I find hanging out in my pantry. In the case of Chickpea Pasta it was a can of chickpeas left over from my chili making phase this past Winter. I just happened to find it the day I went through one of my 'to try' recipe folders and found Penne with Chickpeas, Spinach and Roasted Asparagus, courtesy of Food and Wine magazine (LCBO). Penne with Chickpeas, Spinach and Roasted Asparagus is a much more elegant name than Chickpea Pasta but since the can of chickpeas really started the ball rolling, Chickpea Pasta it is.
I thought the Chickpea Pasta presented well:
And it would surely qualify as vegetarian. In addition to the spinach and asparagus (and chickpeas, natch) you'll find shredded carrot and sun dried tomatoes in that there bowl. David and I both had the same reaction to this dish. It was good, but the chickpeas were kind of distracting. David never met a legume he liked so he stick-handled most of his out of the way (in the nicest way possible, given as he is to generally praising anything I make). I was game to like the chickpeas but something about the texture, especially compared with the other elements of the dish, didn't work for me. Overall I enjoyed this pasta but wouldn't rush to make it again. So back to the veggie drawing board!