7 Ingredient Goat Cheese & Chickpea Pasta (in 30 minutes)
In the time it takes you to walk a mile, watch a sitcom, fold your laundry (and put it away), or read a few chapters of a book, to name a few, you can make this healthy and delicious meal. I was recently challenged to come up with meals you can make in under 30 minutes that use minimal ingredients, yet are healthful, flavorful, and check all the boxes.
The first recipe I came up with was created somewhat by accident. One dish my family and I can always agree on is pasta. And with the recent addition of a variety of pastas made with vegetables, legumes, etc., I opted for a chickpea pasta. Truth be told, nobody in my family could tell the difference. I have tried making this recipe with zoodles and heart of palm noodles, and my kiddos gave me the thumbs down. While I really enjoyed both of those options, I couldn’t quite fool them with the legit veggie noodles. But the chickpea pasta was easier to conceal.
Traditionally, as an Italian, my pasta dishes include some type of marinara or red sauce with a tomato base. Rather than stay with that theme, I wanted to make a creamy cheese sauce. But instead of going with the obvious alfredo or cheddar sauce, I opted for goat cheese. This has such a creamy texture, you don’t even need milk or dairy to assist with melting it. I just toss it in with the warm pasta and give it a quick stir, and it coats every inch of the noodles.
I typically add spinach to my pasta dishes, but I decided to kick the flavor profile up a notch with arugula (aka, rocket). Arugula has a spiciness to it that is very distinct. It balances nicely with the goat cheese. You could also use kale, if you are not a fan of the spiciness of the arugula, but I recommend giving the arugula a try first as it works so well with the other flavors.
Butternut squash is another vegetable that is rarely used in a pasta dish, and I wanted some additional color to brighten this up. By roasting it in the oven, it brings out some of the natural sweetness of the squash and also allows for a crunchier outside with a fluffy soft inside, similar to a potato.
The way these flavors marry is outstanding, and when topped with pine nuts, it really sets it off the charts. All in under 30 minutes with only 7 ingredients. Win-win for an easy weeknight dinner.
Stay tuned for more 30-minute (or less) meals on our blog.
- 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and diced into 3/4-inch cubes
- 12 oz chickpea pasta
- 2 oz goat cheese
- 2 handfuls arugula
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Toss prepared squash with olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste, and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
- While squash is baking, cook pasta according to directions; drain (do not rinse).
- While pasta is still hot, add goat cheese and stir to coat.
- Add in arugula and pine nuts.
- Remove roasted squash from the oven and add to pasta mixture.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!