Chickpea Pasta with Kale and Creamy Red Pepper Sauce
Hey friends! Can you guys believe that it's already October? I know I'm not unique in saying this, but seriously - where did the summer go? When life is jam packed with activities and work, days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and before you know it you blink once and you're wearing a santa hat and drunkenly singing Christmas songs with your relatives (don't deny it).
I know I've shared with you how busy my life is outside of work, but I don't believe I've really touched on my 9-5. In fact, I don't think I've shared much at all about what I do during the day.
For those of you that are familiar, I manage a startup co-working space in Santa Monica. I essentially manage the day to day functions, billing relations, and programming for a community of startups. We offer basic functionality (wifi, free coffee, conference rooms), networking opportunities (300+ members, happy hours, lunches), and business guidance (office hours, seminars, events) that allow each of our members, small business and entrepreneurs, to run their companies.
Just like several industries, the fall is insanely busy for us. After a relatively quiet summer, work-wise, our members come back in full force. For me, that means making sure my team and I are ready to tackle day to day operations and that we have all of our programming planned and outlined through the New Year. On top of all of that, we're going through some internal changes, as well as some cosmetic changes. In addition to typical day to day functions, I am simultaneously helping a new teammate get settled and up to speed , and helping our design team work on our new expansion space!
You're probably thinking, "Why do I care? How does this relate to food?" Well, what it means is by the time I get home, I'm pretty beat. And, sometimes that means I really don't want to cook, even a little bit. However, for those of you that know me well, you know that during the week I like to be as healthy and frugal as possible. So, if that means throwing on some sweats and trudging around my kitchen in a daze, then so be it.
That's where easy, quick, and nutritious meals like this Chickpea Pasta with Kale and Creamy Red Pepper Sauce come into play. GUYS. Have you tried Banza Chickpea Pasta? It's amazing and truly ingenious. I discovered it through the food blogger Instragram community and I'm so happy to have stumbled upon something so tasty and healthy. You can treat Banza like any other boxed pasta, but I served up mine with some fresh kale and a homemade creamy red pepper sauce. Such an easy, healthy, and satisfying way to end a busy day!
1 box Banza Pasta, cooked according to package
2 cups shredded kale
Red Pepper Sauce:
2 garlic cloves
1.5 cups roasted red peppers, roughly chopped and drained (reserve 1 tbsp of liquid)
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 tbsp greek yogurt
1/2 tsp dried basil, plus more for garnish
4 tbsp parmesan cheese, divided for 4 servings
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Cook pasta according to package.
2. While pasta is cooking prepare the Red Pepper sauce.
3. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick skillet. Add the diced yellow onion and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, until onions are soft.
4. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add in the red pepper + reserved liquid to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes.
5. Take the skillet off the heat and let cool for several minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add in the broth and blend until smooth.**
6. Add the sauce back to the skillet and turn heat on low. Let cook together, stirring often to reheat and let flavors blend, about 2 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper, plus the 1/2 tsp of dried basil. Turn of heat and whisk in greek yogurt.
7. Drain and rinse the cooked pasta. Add pasta to the skillet, toss to coat with sauce. Add the chopped kale and let kale wilt slightly before serving.
8. Serve pasta with more dried basil and parmesan cheese!
**Be careful with blending hot food in a blender. The amount above is fine, but if you're really nervous blend in batches. I also like to leave a section of the lid off, and cover with a kitchen towel.