Chickpea and macaroni stew
Since I used a good amount of aquafaba in my chocolate mud cake, I needed to find something to do with the actual chickpeas! Haha. And wouldn’t you know that the very same day I found some old, handwritten recipes in my mom’s handwriting, for a chickpea stew with tomatoes and elbow macaroni – and it was vegan?!?!
“Elbow macaroni, Garbanzo bean and Tomato stew” she called it – not the world’s catchiest name, mom, if you’re reading from up there. (By the way, chickpeas are one of those things that seem to have a million different names – garbanzo, gram, besan, chana, chice, ceci…all more or less the same thing.) And while she did write “serve with grated Parmesan” at the end, which would keep it from being vegan, these days we can take care of that without much of a problem. I should have taken a photo of the recipe so you could see her handwriting – it was pretty awesome. You can tell that my mom grew up in the pre-computer era, where even if people had typewriters, they still wrote most things by hand. And I mean wrote, cursive, not printed.
I can tell you that I did not inherit my mom’s skills in penmanship. Even if her ‘U’s, ‘N’s and ‘M’s are indistinguishable from each other – all the loops and letters are the same size without a mistake in sight. Seeing the word “uncovered” in the recipe reminded me of a shopping list she once made, with “vacuum bags” written on it. To the untrained eye, “vacuum” just looked like an endless swirl of waves and peaks.
Elbow macaroni doesn’t get a whole lot of love in some of today’s fancier, more modern recipes, but here it does it’s blue-collar job, and it does it well. That being said, I actually made this with a gluten-free corn pasta, just to see how it works, and it was great. I don’t remember gluten-free pasta being a thing back in those days, but now, even if you are allergic to gluten, there’s nothing to stop you from trying this out! No matter, what type of pasta you choose, be sure to undercook it a bit in the first step. If you boil the heck out of it from the start, it’s going to be a mushy mess when you continue to cook it along with the other ingredients.
And about that “serve with grated Parmesan” at the end. If you don’t have access to a commercial, Parmesan-style vegan cheeze, trying using a 50/50 mix of nutritional yeast and hemp hearts – that’s a winning combo every time. Well, that’s all for now folks. So whenever, like me, you are looking for a way to use some aquafaba AND the actual chickpeas, are in the mood for an old school recipe, or you just want something hearty and simple, this chickpea and macaroni stew is here waiting for you!
- 2 Cups (4.8 dl) - macaroni or pasta
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) - olive oil
- 16 oz (454 g) - canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed (don't forget to save and use that aquafaba!)
- 1 medium - onion, chopped
- 1 clove - garlic, minced
- 8 oz (225 g) - black olives, pitted
- 16 oz (454 g) - can(s) of diced/crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) - Italian herb mix: basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: serve with vegan Parmesan-style cheeze or a 50/50 mix of nutritional yeast/hemp hearts.
- Boil the macaroni/pasta with a generous pinch of salt, for about 3-5 minutes less than the suggested cooking time. Drain the pasta but SAVE the cooking water.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the onion and cook on medium heat until soft - about 5 mins. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil with the pot uncovered. Then add the chickpeas, herbs, olives, and salt and pepper.
- Finally, add the nearly cooked macaroni and, to start, about ½ cup (1.2 dl) reserved water. Cook until the macaroni has absorbed some of the sauce, is tender, and the "stew" has thickened a bit. Add more of the reserved water as necessary. The consistency should be somewhere between a sauce and a stew.
- Optional: grate some vegan Parmesan-style cheeze or use a wandmixer to mix a 50/50 blend of nutritional yeast and hemp hearts. Sprinkle on top of the stew and serve immediately.