Roasted Red Pepper Chickpea Lentil Pasta with Goat Cheese
Roasted Red Pepper Chickpea Lentil Pasta with Goat Cheese, Mushrooms and Spinach is a gluten-free vegetarian pasta tossed in a creamy homemade roasted red pepper sauce!
Marcie from Flavor the Moments has created one of those recipes that makes us thankful that winter is on it’s way. Healthy comfort food at it’s best! Read on to discover her inspiration for this tasty dish.
My husband’s grandmother was from Italy, and I’ve heard many stories about her famous Sunday dinners. She would always make pasta with some broiled meat and homemade focaccia bread. Everyone in his family talks about how wonderful it was to this day.
Sadly his grandmother passed away before I met my husband, so I never got to meet her or experience her wonderful cooking. My husband always says that if he could choose one meal to have again, it would be his grandmother’s famous Sunday dinner.
I sure wish I could taste it too.
Not surprisingly, pasta is often served over the holidays and get-togethers for my husband’s side of the family to carry on his grandmother’s tradition.
I’m thrilled to share this recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Goat Cheese, Mushrooms and Spinach today because it’s great for weeknights and it’s holiday-worthy.
The very best part however is that it’s made with my favorite pasta –> Chickapea Pasta!
Chickapea Pasta isn’t just pasta…it’s a family favorite turned superfood! It contains just two ingredients –> organic chickpeas and lentils. There’s nothing artificial and no added sugars.
Nada. Zip. Zero!
Last year for Christmas I served my One Pot Creamy Sausage Roasted Red Pepper Pasta and it was a huge hit. While that roasted red pepper sauce contained a small amount of cream, I wanted to do a healthier take on that sauce without skimping on flavor.
Stir in some creamy goat cheese and top it with toasted walnuts and it’s absolutely sublime.
I made homemade roasted red bell peppers for this, but you can certainly use store bought if you’re short on time.
To get maximum flavor in my sauce I cooked some onions, garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, with some vegetable stock and 2/3 of the roasted red bell peppers. I whirred the sauce in my trusty blender and it was ultra creamy — with no cream in sight!
The goat cheese really adds a lovely tang to this pasta, but if it isn’t your thing, substitute it with feta cheese or parmesan.
You can absolutely add animal protein to this meal if desired. Sausage, bacon, or chicken would all be great additions.
This is creamy, hearty and holiday worthy. This is a recipe that will be a tradition here in my house and I hope it becomes one for you too. 🙂
More Chickpea Lentil pasta options for the holidays:
- 4 medium red bell peppers, sides cut from top to bottom, core discarded or (1) 16 ounce jar roasted red peppers, chopped and drained
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 3 cups baby spinach
- pinch of salt
- 8 ounces Chickapea Pasta (I used spirals)
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- 1/3 cup toasted walnut pieces
Preheat the broiler. Place the red bell pepper cut side down a large rimmed baking sheet. Broil for 10-15 minutes or until the skin is well-charred. Check the peppers after about 8 minutes and rotate if some are charring faster than others.
Place the peppers in a bowl and cover for 5 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove from the bowl and peel off the blackened skin. Coarsely chop -- you will have about 2 cups of roasted bell peppers.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, smoked paprika cayenne pepper and saute for 30 seconds.
Add the vegetable stock, 1 1/2 cups of the roasted red bell peppers (reserving half a cup) and kosher salt and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes.
Place the mixture into a blender and place the lid on without the insert in order to release steam. Process until smooth and set aside.
Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have softened. Add the reserved 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, spinach and pinch salt and cook 2-3 minutes longer or until wilted.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions, reserving about 1/3 cup of cooking liquid. Drain the pasta well and add to the skillet with the mushroom mixture. Add the desired amount of reserved pasta water and enough of the sauce to coat (you'll have some leftover) and heat on low until warm if necessary.
Remove from heat and stir in the goat cheese. Serve topped with toasted walnuts and enjoy!
- Total time above includes making homemade roasted red peppers. If you use a jar instead, you'll save about 10 minutes.
- The sauce may be made up to 2 days in advance or frozen until ready to use.
- This meal is customizable -- use whatever veggies or greens you have on hand. Not into goat cheese? Substitute with feta or parmesan.
- Add bacon, chicken, or sausage if you want to add animal protein.