Lemon, chickpea, spinach fettucine with parsley pesto

Cold winter nights call for quick and easy dinners. This simple supper is a great quick fix, comfort food for two. My friend Nelly le Comte shot this lovely photo for a shoot we did back in 2014 for Sunburst. I have used olive oil instead of Sunburst here, and you can use a tin of chickpeas if you don’t have time to soak them. If you don’t like chickpeas (I’m not much of a fan), then add a poached egg on top to serve and a few shavings of Parmesan. I rarely eat pasta, but when I do it has to be really good. Like many, I get bloated and need to nap soonafter eating. However, there’s nothing better than a great bowl of spaghetti and a glass of wine with your favourite human. Am I right? Enjoy, Sammy x

200 grams fresh spinach fettuccine *or your favourite gluten-free noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup cooked chickpeas, soaked overnight, cooked, thoroughly drained and rinsed
1½ cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves

1 garlic clove
¾ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zest only
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional topping
Poached egg
Shaved Parmesan

  • Cook fresh pasta in plenty of boiling water for about 4-5 minutes dep.
  • Drain well, refresh in cold water.
  • Set aside in a pot to keep warm but do not allow the pasta to become gluggy.
  • Heat a heavy based skillet over a medium low flame.
  • Add olive oil and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Add the chickpeas. Sauté for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat. Add spinach and set aside to allow the spinach to wilt gently.

To make the pesto

  • In a high-speed food processor, (I use a Breville Kitchen Wizz Pro) pulse garlic, parsley and almonds.
  • Add lemon juice, olive oil.
  • Pulse to form a rough paste that resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

To serve

  • In a large mixing bowl, add warm pasta, sautéed chickpeas and wilted spinach.
  • Add the pesto, lemon zest and gently toss.
  • Divide equally onto 2 serving plates.
  • Season to taste with salt and cracked black pepper and serve.
  • Or top with poached egg and parmesan if that’s your fancy!
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