I realized I am that kind of person who makes the harsh winter months a little more bearable with pasta as comfort food. But then the extra carbs get comfortable around my hips in the form of a squishy muffin top. So this year I decided to look for other kind of comfort foods and chickpeas quickly climbed to the top of my list. It's good news—not only are they super delicious but more shape friendly as well! They also provide extra protein instead of the empty carbs pasta would. And trust me, this version of cacio e pepe—an Italian dish traditionally made of spaghetti, pepper and Parmesan cheese—is the best! I simply took out the pasta (was hard at first) and replaced it with soft tinned chickpeas, made it creamier with vegan creamer and vegan mozzarella and the twist is a hint of white wine (of course, you can leave this out or use white grape juice instead).
GF Vegan Tuscan Ceci Cacio e Pepe (Chickpeas with Vegan Cheese and Pepper)
- 1 tin canned chickpea
- 2 tbs olive oil
- onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- to taste sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- to taste spicey green paprika (I used a Hungarian type but green chilies are also good)
- 125 ml white wine
- 4 tbs vegan creamer
- freshly grated vegan cheese
1. Chop the onion and garlic.
2. Heat up the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes until onions are caramelized.
Then season with salt, pepper and oregano. Give it a good stir.
3. Stir in the drained chickpeas and cook for 2–3 more minutes. Add the chopped paprika.
4. Add the wine and simmer until it’s completely evaporated then take it off the heat.
5. Stir in the vegan creamer and vegan cheese.
6. Serve warm with more cheese and freshly cracked pepper on top.
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Photo: Imola Toth