Penne with Chickpeas, Feta & Tomatoes

The Husband had a client dinner at Mamma Zu this evening and I wasn't much up to going out.  I always struggle when it comes to cooking for one - as in what to make without gobs of leftovers, not to mention gathering the will to actually make something and order delivery or take-out.  It's so much more fun to cook for/with someone than to cook for yourself.

What I really wanted tonight was a big, fat cheeseburger and onion rings, but I figured something with whole grains and vegetables would be a lot healthier for both me and our baby. So when I came across this Cooking Light recipe, I knew with a few modifications it was the perfect vegetarian recipe The Husband might not go for if he was home, but that I would really enjoy.

This recipe took minimal time and effort to prepare, making it perfect for a busy weeknight meal (it'd also make a great lunch).

It was light, but filling at the same time.  There are quite a few different textures going on here, which keeps this dish interesting.  All of the flavors really blend together well.

Penne with Chickpeas, Feta & Tomatoes

8 oz whole wheat penne 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots
3 large or 4 small-medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
splash/squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté 45 seconds, stirring constantly.

Stir in bell pepper and chickpeas; sauté 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes.

Stir in pasta and reserved cooking liquid; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat. Add feta and remaining ingredients; toss to combine.


  1. Yum!!! My husband is out of town for the next week - so I am cooking up all kinds of adventurous things I know he would not try. He would enjoy this, so I am filing it away for when he is home. Have a great weekend!


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