Pasta Salad with Chickpeas and Arugula

This “salad” definitely has more than just chickpeas and arugula, it includes some (vegan) sausage to give it a zest and pea shoots (because they’re awesome), and a creamy tahini-chickpea dressing to hold it all together – it’s a good relationship, if I do say so myself.

Pasta Salad with Chickpeas and Arugula

Note: I included pea shoots, based on my talk with Iz from Obsessive Nutrition Compulsive about sprouting, sometimes I forget about things I love – like sprouts, beans, cookies, fruit… I got for a few weeks without buying them, and then mental clarity appears and all of a sudden: I want them.  I need them.  AND, then I buy them.  We were in Trader Joe’s the other day, buying *food to make food – particularly picnic-y items – and I saw these and thought of all the pea shoot recipe variations out there – stir fry, salads, sandwich toppers, and hey – PASTA SALAD.

If you don’t have pea shoots, use what you have – kale (the lacinato variety would be pretty here) or other greens or shoots (ha!).

Pasta Salad with Chickpeas and Arugula

Pasta Salad with Chickpeas and Arugula

2 cups uncooked penne rigate pasta
2 Tablespoons olive oil (or other mild flavored oil – do not use coconut oil in this one unless you want caribbean vibes)
1 link Tofurkey Italian Sausage (or other italian sausage) – chopped
1 and 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or chickpeas, divided
1 Tablespoon “milk
1 Tablespoon tahini
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar or other sweetener (optional)
a very large handful of pea shoots
a very large handful of arugula
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: cook pasta according to package directions, drain, then toss with the olive oil, sausage, and 1 cup chickpeas in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside and allow to cool.  In a small mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans, milk, tahini, vinegar, sweetener, and salt and pepper.  Roughly smash and mix with a fork until combined and *potentially smooth – using this method will lend some chunks, but if you’re looking for a smoother texture, use something electrical.  I liked the rustic capability of a good chunky binder to adhere a pasta salad – it seems… better, for some reason.

Next, add pea shoots and arugula to large mixing bowl and mix well.  Finally, spoon the “dressing” from the small bowl into the large bowl of pasta items and stir until combined.

Makes: 4 servings

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