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Calling all pasta lovers - this one's for you!
As a third-generation Italian who’s a major foodie (and an even bigger fan of pasta!), it was important to me to create a pasta dish that’s reflective of my background while also balancing my health goals.
I’ll be honest and say that I’ve never met a pasta that I didn’t get along with. That’s exactly why I aim to have pasta at least once a week. All that being said, I am living proof that you can enjoy your pasta-loving nights while still hitting your fitness goals! It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
It really comes down to the types of pasta that you choose and the ingredients you incorporate in said pasta! (I love using Chickapea pasta - since it's packed with protein and fibre to fuel my busy workdays while keeping me satisfied and energized all day! I usually get the variety pack, linked here.)
That’s why I love to include ingredients like:
turkey bacon - for protein
peas + fresh arugula - to add veggies and nutrients
crumbled goat cheese + parmesan - for healthy fats and flavour
Mix it all into a healthy cream sauce and you’ve got one very happy pasta lover!
Let’s dive in!
High Protein Chickpea Pasta With Turkey Bacon, Peas + Goat Cheese
1 container (8 oz ea.), Chickapea penne pasta
1 cup frozen green peas
6 slices turkey bacon, chopped
2 cups fresh arugula
8 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
chilli flakes (optional)
[for the cream sauce]
1.5 tbsp butter
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp, whole wheat flour
1/2 cup, chicken broth
1.5 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup unsweetened nut milk
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Start by frying up your turkey bacon. Grab a cast iron pan or non-stick skillet and use olive oil or cooking spray to get the pan ready. Lay down your turkey bacon in the pan and cook until crispy. Set this aside to let it cool.
Next, in the same pan that you cooked the turkey bacon, let’s create the sauce. (Note: The sauce will take longer to cook than the pasta, which is why we’re starting now. We don’t want the pasta to get soggy!) Keeping the setting at medium-high heat, add the butter and make sure it’s fully melted and resembles a light golden colour before you throw in your minced garlic; then, cook until lightly golden brown.
Meanwhile, make sure to fill a pot with water and set it on the stove until it comes to a boil while you’re making your sauce.
Once the garlic has been cooked to the light golden/brown colour, you’re going to add in a tablespoon of whole purpose flour/whole wheat flour. This will be your roux. Stir around until everything is combined and forms a paste.
As soon as it creates a paste, pour in the chicken broth. Whisk continuously as we pour in the chicken broth to avoid any clumps forming. It will start to look almost like a gravy.
Next, pour in the lemon zest/juice - making sure you're constantly whisking. At this point, you’ll want to make sure the heat is turned down just slightly. From there, add in the cashew milk and keep mixing so all the ingredients are combined thoroughly. Once the milk is in, bring the whole mixture to a boil/simmer. This will take around 3-5 minutes.
Once the sauce is boiling, cut the heat completely and add in the parmesan cheese and allow the heat from the sauce to melt the cheese. Keep mixing it consistently.
Finely chop the turkey bacon into pieces. Throw the bacon and frozen peas into the sauce so it’s nice and warm and thickened. Set the sauce aside. Leave it at a low temperature to keep it warm.
Now that the sauce is done, you can throw your Chickapea Pasta into the boiling water. Use the box directions for the accurate cooking time, making sure you don’t overcook the pasta; otherwise, they’ll be soggy and fall apart. (Note: If you’re worried, just err on the side of caution and cook for 1-2 minutes less than recommended or taste as you go along, making sure to drain as soon as the pasta is “al dente”, or still has a “bite” to it.)
Drain your pasta and add it back into the pot. Pour sauce over top and mix it around to make sure it’s all combined.
Either in a larger mixing bowl or directly in your pasta pot, mix in your fresh arugula and top with crumbled goat cheese for that fresh bite.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, depending on your liking. You can also add chilli flakes (which are totally optional but highly recommended). Enjoy!
Calories per serving 480
Fats, 21g Carbohydrates, 44g