Summer days

June 3, 2010

I love asparagus. I really do. And not just because it makes your pee smell funny. For real, it does. Try it if you don’t believe me! No, I love asparagus for its bite, the crunchy, firm texture and how fresh it feels. It just screams spring and summer to me. There’s so much you can do with it – grill it, roast it, put it in soup… or pair it with pasta and spinach.

Summery Pasta with Asparagus, Spinach, and Chickpeas

Serves 4-5 people

6 oz whole wheat spaghetti

1/2 lb asparagus

2 cups spinach

1 15oz can of diced no-salt added tomatoes

3 1/2 cups chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

vegetable broth

1/2 an onion

2 T hummus

Juice and zest of one lemon

First, you’ll want to heat up a pretty big skillet or wok or pan or whatever you’ve got that will be able to fit all of this deliciousness inside. Add 1 T olive oil, and when it’s hot, saute your onion. Once it’s translucent, add your asparagus and about a cup of vegetable broth. It really depends on how much you want to add and how liquidy or how thick you want your sauce to be.

Let your asparagus cook for about 5 minutes (or until they’re just tender) before you add the tin of tomatoes and some chickpeas. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I was in the store. I should have bought grape tomatoes instead of canned. My brain decided to take a day off, I guess.

A little note about chickpeas – if you’re using dried, like I did, let them soak overnight beforehand. You want about 3 1/2 cups of chickpeas total.

In another pot, let some water come up to a boil and drop your pasta in. I cook my pasta with a teaspoon of olive oil so it doesn’t stick together. I also added some lemon juice so that the pasta could absorb that sweet flavor.

Once the chickpeas and tomatoes are in your sauce, add in some salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and the lemon juice. Let it sit until your pasta is cooked.When you’re ready to add the pasta, put in your spinach. Remember that spinach wilts down – so it looks like you’re adding more spinach than Popeye could eat, but it cooks down to almost nothing.

And now, before you add the pasta on top of the spinach, add your secret weapon… hummus! Yes, I said hummus. In this sauce, it’s almost undetectable but that’s okay – we’re using it to thicken up the sauce and make it creamy.

Don’t stir the hummus in, just take a ladle full of starchy pasta water and pour it on top. The heat from the water as well as the cooked pasta will melt it and help it coat the entire pan. Take the pasta from the pot (don’t worry about draining it, just grab it with tongs) and incorporate it in.

You may now drool all over your computer screen:

The great thing about this pasta is that it can probably be eaten both cold and warm. I’m going to eat it tomorrow as lunch “to go” in the car (who ever ate freaking spaghetti in a car? Not ideal traveling food I suppose). I’m headed to Florida for a week tomorrow! Win. Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting pretty regularly.

Even more of an epic win? This! I snagged it at Old Navy today while I was in search of new jeans. But dresses are cool, too. It’s super comfy and it has pockets, man. Pockets! I love to wear dresses in the summer. I’m not a shorts kind of girl.

What’s your summer style?


5 Responses to “Summer days”

  1. Ellen Says:

    Mmm, that looks yummy! I really like asparagus, too and honestly I didn’t think I ever would! I think the key is getting them crispy, but not burnt.

    My summer style? Casual. I love a sheer tee, denim cutoffs, maybe a fedora hat and sandals. Shorts rompers are cute too, and effortless!

  2. Cute dress!!
    Bah, I hate asparagus…which is annoying cos it’s so good for you 😥 does it seriously make your pee smell!? I thought that was an urban myth! Well I never!

  3. I love that dress. It’s super cute! I’m a fan of sundresses in the summer, too- I hate shorts. But I never where dresses in the winter b/c I hate being cold!

  4. caronae Says:

    Asparagus makes me pee smell very strongly, but it does not make everyone’s smell, oddly enough. I just posted about this the other day actually! I too love it. Just picked up a bunch at the farmer’s market today. Oh happy day!

    Love this recipe. I would use a different sort of bean or lentil or just plain hummus. for some reason I can’t get into whole chickpeas. I think it’s a texture thing…

    Happy almost weekend!

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