Arugula can help cool your body down while giving you a good dose of calcium!
Is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of pasta? Nope. There’s not. At least not in my book. And this chickpea penne with arugula pesto doesn’t disappoint.
This recipe is great on 2 different fronts. First, there’s the pesto. OMG — this is sooooooooo good! And, it takes only 5 minutes to make. Next, there’s the beauty and deliciousness of the grain-free pasta made from chickpeas. Well, this is nothing short of genius!
I would serve this to a crowd of eve the pickiest eaters. But, truth be told, the last time I made this, it was all for me. Yes, it’s a really big bowl, I know, but I was home all by myself and I felt like I deserved the queen’s treatment. And this did the trick. And no, I didn’t eat the whole bowl. Well, at least not in one sitting… This was a totally decadent treat for me. A night home alone. A hot bath. A big bowl of this chickpea penne with arugula pesto. A nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Yup, certainly queen-like!
Basil pesto has always been a go-to for me. But recently, I started experimenting with pestos made from different herbs and greens and other interesting veggies. I can honestly say that this arugula pesto is amazing. I have started to like it even better than my traditional beloved basil pesto.
As soon as I admitted my love for all things pesto, I started seeing recipes all over the place. I just want to give a shout-out to Emily at A Nutritionist Eats for opening my eyes to arugula pesto.
Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this chickpea penne with arugula pesto:
Arugula has a good amount of calcium and it also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in potassium and it’s extra beneficial in the summer because it actually cools the body down. This delicious peppery green is also believed to be a libido booster. One of the first things I learned when I started really taking care of my health through proper nutrition, was to substitute dark greens for lighter greens whenever possible. One of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest switches you can make is to swap out some of your lighter salad greens for peppery, dark arugula.
Chickpeas actually help calm the spirit. They relieve anxiety and soothe irritability… it kind of makes you realize why hummus is so popular…
Lemon peels contain calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels. This recipe uses zested lemon peel and lemon juice.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….
Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice.
- ½ lb grain-free chickpea pasta (or use your favorite pasta), cooked al dente, and drained (SAVE ABOUT ⅓ CUP OF THE PASTA COOKING WATER FOR THE PESTO!!!)
- 2 cups arugula
- 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice and zest from one lemon
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 Tbs vegan Parmesan (or whatever Parmesan makes you smile)
- Sea salt to taste
- pinch of dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
- Put the cooked pasta in a large bowl. (Be sure to reserve about ⅓ cup of the pasta cooking water, and set that on the side in case you need it for the pesto.)
- Put all remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until finely minced. Add as much of the reserved pasta cooking water as you need to make it a creamy pesto-y consistency.
- Toss the pesto with the pasta.