12 May 2016

Smoky Rotini Dinner

The semester is over, my grades are entered, and I'm looking at all the things I neglected over the past few months. Although this blog is one of those neglected items, it hasn't been far from my mind. I have loads of new recipes lined up to post.

Although the weather the past couple of days was quite warm, the week before had been rainy and cool and reminiscent of fall, which led to Shana and I seeking warmth and comfort. Given that it was also finals week for me, we also needed speed and ease. Luckily, we've been enjoying just the thing over the past couple of months: this smokey, savory, and speedy dinner that we adapted from Robin Robertson's More Quick-Fix Vegan cookbook. I've had this cookbook for a while, but we hadn't given it much of a chance. If this recipe is anything like the others in this cookbook, I have a feeling we'll be coming back to it over and over.

But back to the food! This dish has so many amazing flavors and textures in it! Even though the ingredients list looks long, you can find what you need in nearly any grocery store and you really only need to be able to boil water to make it. With all that going for it, the complexity of the flavors makes this meal something you can serve at a dinner party. Just make sure to double what I've listed below, as you and your guests will go back for more.

You can't see them, but there are chickpeas hiding in there, too!

Smoky Rotini Dinner
Adapted from "rotini with smoky chickpeas and cauliflower" from More Quick-Fix Vegan.

3 T. maple syrup
3 T. soy sauce
3 T. olive oil
1 T. liquid smoke
1 T. nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
rounded 1/2 tsp. salt
rounded 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
2, 15 ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2-3 shallots, minced
8 ounces rotini

1. Preheat the oven to 425.
2. Combine the syrup, soy sauce, olive oil, liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well to combine.
3. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and chickpeas in a 9x13 glass baking dish, stirring well. Bake for 20 minutes.
4. Boil water for the rotini and cook it according to the package directions. When done, drain.
5. Combine the cauliflower/chickpeas with the pasta, making sure to get all of the extra sauce. Stir well.

Helpful Hints
  • Liquid smoke is a weird ingredient. Although many people think it's nothing more than a chemical, it's actually condensed smoke! A little goes a long way and you can see that this recipe calls for a ton of it. Feel free to cut back if it's too smoky for you.
  • Sometimes when I want this to be super "saucy," I double the sauce recipe. Then, there is more of the sauce for the pasta to absorb. 
  • The original recipe calls for adding chopped fresh parsley at the end. We didn't miss it, but add it if it speaks to you. 
  • UPDATE: We tried to freeze this and it worked! Thus, this is now labeled as a freezer-friendly dinner. 
The post "Smokey Rotini Dinner" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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