Pasta Salad with Garbanzos, Tomatoes, Feta and Mint {Book Club}

Read any good books lately?  I have a few to share.   Quite a few actually thanks to cold winter nights tucked under fuzzy blankets and a shiny new library card.  Yep, I’m raging it up here in Brrrmont.

Last month I was up to host my book group with our pick, Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton.  And yes, go ahead. Add it to your must-read list.

Harrison was pulling an extra-long week at the restaurant, so I had to fly solo on pulling my hostess menu together. I cracked open the book and perused its pages for creative cooking inspiration and was able to piece together an eclectic assortment for the girls to share.

Since a good portion of the book takes place in Italy at summertime with bowls of fresh pasta around every turn, that was a must.

Plus there were prunes, so I extended those into a yummy local cheese and pate board.

And then there were mason jelly jars from which we drank our deep red wine.

The pasta recipe actually came straight from the Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook he bought me.  It was a hit so I wanted to share… perfect to eat while day-dreaming about the warm summer months ahead.

Ingredients

  • (1) pound orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta) … I used campanelle that I had on hand
  • (1) pound of Golden Grape or cherry tomatoes (scant 4 cups), halved
  • (7) tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • (1/3) cup chopped fresh mint plus sprigs for garnish
  • (1/3) cup thinly sliced green onions
  • (1/4) cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
  • (2) garlic cloves, minced
  • (1) 15- to 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), well drained
  • (6) ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled (about 1 ½ cups)


Directions

  1. Cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, (6) tablespoons olive oil, chopped mint, green onions, chopped cilantro, and garlic in a large bowl.  Season to taste with salt.
  3. Heat the remaining (1) tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garbanzo beans and sauté until lightly browned, about (5) minutes.
  4. Add garbanzo beans and pasta to tomato mixture in bowl; toss to coat.
  5. Add feta and toss briefly.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish with mint and cilantro sprigs.  Serve warm or let stand at room temperature up to (2) hours.  Makes (6) to (8) servings.

Until we pull inspiration from pages again,

A + H

{Photos by Andrea Littell}
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