Cold winter days are the ones you want to just stay in, bundled up in your warmest clothes while watching a movie. They’re also the days you just want to indulge in some comfort food, a bowl of hearty goodness. A day like this is perfect to create a dish and review Chickapea Pasta, a company I recently partnered up with.
Chickapea Pasta is a nutrient-dense, protein-rich alternative to traditional pasta, solely made from a blend of organic chickpeas and lentils. That means it’s organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, no added sugar, vegan, kosher, no preservatives or artificial additives. Crazy, right? Its aim is to provide people with a healthier option so that you don’t feel guilting for those hearty meal cravings. A quick cook time is another benefit so that you don’t have to compromise nutrition for convenience. You can have both!
When I was approached to review the product, I must say that I was very curious to see how it held up to regular pasta. So I came up with a recipe and fed it to the family without telling them, and they didn’t even notice a difference!
When I was thinking of which protein to feature in this dish, the first thing that came to mind was tender, melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork. But do not fret! Although it takes an afternoon to cook, it’s a really simple recipe to follow. I started off with a piece of pork shoulder that I massaged in some apple juice, water, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and dried chilli flakes in an oven-friendly pot.
Once fully cooked, I removed the meat and let it rest and cool while I cooked sliced carrots in the same pot to soften. About 20 minutes later, I removed the pot from the oven, took out the carrots, strained the liquid and added about 2 cups of water to dilute the flavoured stock, to which I added two boxes of Chickapea pasta. In doing so, the pasta absorbed all the rich liquid that flavoured the meat and will enhance the dish even further. While the pasta was cooking, I started pulling the pork, and since it’s so tender, you can do so with two forks, which I began doing, but finished off with my hands since I found it quicker and easier.
As soon as the pasta was al dente, I added back the pulled pork, carrots and Chinese broccoli and stirred until it was a well combined. Lastly, I drizzled a bit of sesame oil over everything to give it an extra bite. Since we like things a little spicy, I served it with some sriracha to give it an added kick.
And voilà! A feel-good dish that warms the heart and soul. The pasta had a slightly different texture and colour to regular pasta, but it cooked well and I didn’t treat it any differently than I would have the traditional kind. Overall, I really enjoyed cooking and eating the meal, and since Chickapea Pasta is a healthier option, I’ll take it!
- Preheat oven to 320 degrees.
- In an oven-friendly pot, combine apple juice, water, soy sauce, 3/4 cup water, garlic and ginger. Add pork shoulder and cover all sides with marinade. Pop on the lid and place in the oven and cook for 4 hours.
- Add carrots into the leftover liquid and cook in the oven for about 25 minutes. Once tender, remove carrots and strain the leftover liquid in the roasting tray through a sieve and into a saucepan. Add 2 cups of water to dilute the liquid and add pasta.
- Pull the warm pork into long strips using two forks or with your fingers, then add back to cooked pasta along with carrots and Chinese broccoli. Drizzle sesame oil and stir until combined.
- Serve with sriracha