Corzetti with Spinach & Chickpea Pesto
Corzetti (also spelled as Croxetti or Curzetti) is a kind of pasta typical of the Ligurian cuisine of north-west Italy, characterised by a flat round disc stamped with ornate designs.
The designs serve the double purpose to decorate the pasta while also adding texture and thus helping the sauce to stick.
Being this pasta from Liguria, it's only fair that I paired it with pesto - also from Liguria - though this is definitely not your traditional pesto.
You may be wondering - will I ever run out of pesto recipes? No. The answer is no.
Pesto is such a versatile condiment for pasta - and more...it's great also on pizza, bruschetta and basically on anything - and lends itself to all sorts of experimentations.
For this recipe, I combined baby spinach, with cooked chickpeas and olive oil. A splash of pasta cooking water...et voilà!! Yep. It's THAT EASY.
I saved a spoon-full of chickpeas and roasted them in a little olive oil, seasoning with paprika and lemon zest. They become so crunchy and slightly smoky, spicy and tangy...just wonderful.
Also, this recipe is vegan...and it's delicious just as it is!!
Not Just Basil Pesto
If you have followed me for a while, you will know I'm kind of obsessed with pesto and have posted so many recipes. Here are some I definitely recommend you try:
But moving on to today's recipe...
Ingredients (for 2)
200 g corzetti pasta (or any other kind)
200 g baby spinach
100 g cooked chickpeas
80 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
Grated lemon zest
Salt to taste
As you may have guessed by the super-short list of ingredients, this recipe is crazy-simple.
Start by bringing to a boil a large pot of water and adding some salt. Throw in your corzetti (or any other pasta you are using) and cook it according to packaging.
While the pasta is bubbling away, make pesto.
Wash the spinach and pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper. Transfer them to a food processor.
Set aside 1 tbsp of chickpeas and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add all the remaining chickpeas and oil to the same food processor, along with a pinch of salt and blend to a smooth pesto by adding one ladle of pasta cooking water to give that extra creaminess. Set the pest aside.
In a small pan, heat up the reserved olive oil, then add the chickpeas and season with paprika, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Sauté for a couple of minutes until crispy.
Mix the cooked pasta and the pesto, plate and top with the roasted chickpeas before serving.