This recipe is inspired/adapted from Veganomicon, Chickpeas Romesco… It’s saucy, it’s sassy, it’s full of yummy chickpeas, what more could you ask for? Well, I could ask for a young, strapping Italian who can only speak to me in his native tongue to eat them with..but I suppose we have to be realistic for now. This dish is like the Italian version of my favorite Indian dish: Chana Masala. I love chickpeas because they are an excellent source of folate, zinc, and vitamins B6 and C – all the better to keep me in tip-top shape for my imaginary Italian. And for those of you who lack the imagination I have and need a few nutritional facts – folate is good for depression, cancer prevention, and restless leg; zinc is good for acne, sore throats, diabetes, and preeclampsia; B6 is good for random things like kidney stones, depression, PMS, and cognitive decline; and C is good for the cardiovascular system, scurvy, cold sores, and high blood pressure. So there you have it! Whether you’re feeding your imagination or your body, chickpeas get the job done!!
3 TBSP almond meal
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 jar roasted red bell pepper (or 2 fresh, roasted red peppers)
3 TBSP olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced shallots
1 habanero or 2 serrano peppers, finely minced *note: the habanero is hot hot hot!
1/4 C vegetable broth or white wine
2 tsp turbinado or brown sugar
1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked off stem)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked off stem)
1 tsp dried basil (or a couple of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped)
1 bay leaf
1.5 C dry chickpeas, cooked (or 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Working in 2 or more batches, puree the tomatoes and roasted red bell pepper in a blender or food processor, until smooth.
2. In a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan, saute shallots, garlic, hot pepper in the olive oil over medium heat, until shallots start to brown. About 4-5 min.
3. Add broth or wine, releasing any browned bits stuck to bottom of pan. Simmer about 1 minute. Add tomato/red pepper puree, sugar, and all herbs (if using dried). Bring to near-boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in almond meal. Fold in chickpeas and simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes – until the sauce is reduced and chickpeas are tender. *If using fresh herbs, stir the herbs in about 10 minutes after addition of chickpeas.
5. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
This recipe pairs well with a Saffron Brown Rice or Quinoa, as well as some yummy steamed veggies. And of course, I love Italian food with a nice, dry Chianti Classico.