Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fusilli with Avocado Pesto and Roasted Chickpeas

I made this pasta dish on a whim because of a sudden urge to cook one afternoon (it happens) after coming home from the Little Italy Farmers Market with fresh Hass and Reed Avocados, a beautiful eggplant, and a small block of Firehouse Smoked Cheddar.  I started looking through my kitchen for ingredients that might go well with what I bought from the farmers market and found some pasta and canned chickpeas in my pantry.  So then with these ingredients I created this creamy, wholesome pasta dish with avocado pesto and roasted chickpeas. 

I took the chickpeas and roasted them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried oregano until they turned a little crusty and golden all over (These are good enough to just snack on!).  Then I took a nice round Reed Avocado and made a bright green pesto, not really knowing what it would exactly taste like.  I ended up with a super creamy sauce that tastes like a cross between pesto and guacamole (yum!).  I gave the cooked pasta an even coating of the pesto and added chopped red onion for a little texture, then topped it off with the roasted chickpeas and finely grated Firehouse Smoked Cheddar.  The sharpness and spicy flavor from the cheddar definitely adds an extra something so don’t skimp out on the cheese!   

Roasted Chickpeas
1 can chickpeas, drained
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Dried oregano

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet.
2. Drizzle olive oil, then sprinkle oregano, salt, and pepper over chickpeas.
3. Make sure each chickpea is evenly coated and place baking sheet in oven.
4. When chickpeas turn a golden color, use a spatula to turn them. 
5. Remove when chickpeas are golden all over.

Avocado Pesto
1 large avocado, chopped
A handful of spinach, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
A handful of walnuts, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
¼ cup shredded parmesan
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Add avocado, spinach, parsley, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, and parm into a blender.
2. Pour in some olive oil (about ½ cup) and blend.
3.  Add more olive oil if necessary and blend.  Season with salt and pepper.

Fusilli with Avocado Pesto and Roasted Chickpeas
1 lb. fusilli (substitute with any short pasta), cooked
Roasted chickpeas (see above)
Avocado pesto (see above)
¼ red onion, chopped
Firehouse smoked cheddar (or any spicy cheese), grated

1. In a large bowl mix cooked pasta with desired amount of pesto.
2. Mix in chopped red onion.
3. Top each bowl with chickpeas and cheese before serving.


  1. This looks and sounds really good, I love the avocado pesto!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I am making this one tomorrow. I am and avacado and chickpea fan. Would have never thought to roast the chickpeas. Can't wait to try this!


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