Meatless Mondays – Vermicelli Nests with Chickpeas, Kale and Tomato. Vegan and Gluten Free.

This delicious recipe is taken directly from “The Mediteranean Vegan Kitchen” by Donna Klein so all credit goes to the master chef!  Any additions or substitutions I have added to this recipe I will put in italics. This was one of the first recipes that I’ve tried from this book and it was just so good I had to share.  Let me know what you think!

Makes 4 – 6 servings for a main course or 8 pasta side-dish servings.

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas rinsed and dried
1 cup dry white wine (or 1/2 cup lemon juice for those who aren’t comfortable cooking with wine)
2 to 3 tsps fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
1 pound fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
8 ounces fresh spinach stemmed and cut crosswise into 1/2 inche wide strips. (I chose kale instead because of it’s nutrient properties and less prominent taste)
Pinch sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 ounces vermicelli, capellini or spaghettini

In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.  Add the chickpeas and toss to coat with garlic and oil.  Add teh wine and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add the tomatoes, spinach, sugar, salt and pepper.  Toss well to thoroughly combine and remove the skillet from the heat.  Set aside until the tomatoes are just warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. 

Meanshile, in a large stockpot, cook the basta in boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente.  Drain well.  Arrange equal amounts of the pasta in small circular piles resembling bowls.  Divide the chickpea and tomato mixture evenly among the bowls.  Pour the remaining liquids in the skillet evenly over all and serve at once.  Enjoy!


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