Chickpea juice – the stuff you pour out of the can and down the drain – is all the rage right now. Not as an energy drink, smoothie ingredient, low-tack adhesive, or chemical-free bathroom cleanser, but as a dessert. Some mad vegan scientist figured out that if you combine it with sugar and whip the @#!$ out of it you get a meringue*-like substance.
*In deference to those non-vegans who are highly sensitive to us linguistically lazy vegans misappropriating traditionally carnivore terminology – such as “meat” [not meat] in this post’s title – we shall henceforth and forthwith call chickpea juice + sugar + mixer, “meringue.”
Seriously, would you ever look at the goo that comes out of a can of beans, grab the bag of Domino’s, the hand mixer, and think: something goooood is going to come out of this! Not me. But this explains why I’m just a cook and not a vegan chef with eponymous restaurants in Chicago, New York, and Vegas.
I looked at a can of (drained) chickpeas, some crushed tomatoes and the cast iron skillet and thought: sauce! And something good – if not earth-shattering and certainly not “meringue” – came out of it.
BTW, I use a soy-free red miso from South River.
- one cup of garbanzo beans delivers about half of the recommended daily serving of fiber, and
- one cup has 15 grams of protein!
- eat up for calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus – minerals essential for bone health.
- the antioxidant lycopene may help protect cells from free radicals, especially skin cells from the damaging affects of the sun
- consuming potassium-rich tomatoes helps mitigate the affects of sodium on heart rate and blood pressure
- throw in a little vitamin A and vitamin C – along with other vitamins and minerals
This recipe works beautifully in the pressure cooker! Set the cooker to sauté setting (use low if your appliance is adjustable) and follow the directions below. Once the crushed tomatoes, etc., have been added, change the setting to Manual, then 30 minutes. (The cooker will take several minutes to come to pressure and then the time will tick down.) Let the cooker depressure naturally/slowly. Taste and adjust for seasonings and consistency.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
- dash red pepper flakes
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. red miso paste (I use a soy-free variety from South River)
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- ~1.2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, or to taste
- 13 ounces gluten-free (or whole wheat/grain pasta shells)
- vegan Parmesan cheese substitute, for garnish, optional
- chopped fresh basil, for garnish, optional
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high, add a splash of water or vegetable broth, and sauté the chopped onion and carrot for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute.
- While the carrots and onion cook, put the chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to break them down. You don't want hummus - but you also don't want any whole chickpeas remaining. Set aside.
- Stir the herbs and spices* into the onion/carrot mixture and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas and sauté for about 5 minutes, letting them brown a bit.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, miso, tomato paste, and maple syrup, scraping up the yummy browned bits and stirring well to combine. Turn down the heat to low and let the sauce bubble for about 30 minutes. If you have one of those mesh screens, this is the time to use it.
- Stir the sauce occasionally, adding broth or water if it becomes too thick. While it cooks, get the pasta water going and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4-1/2 cup of the pasta water, if desired (you can use this to further thin the sauce, if necessary).
- When the sauce is done, taste and adjust the seasonings. Pour the pasta into the sauce and stir well, making sure to coat each and every tender shell. Serve with copious amounts of vegan Parmesan cheese and fresh basil if you are lucky enough to have some!
- *For extra flavor, add a splash of red wine while sautéing the herbs.
- Chopped kalamata olives would be a yummy addition to this sauce, as would a couple of spoonfuls of capers.