This chickpea pasta with smoked mozzarella is a delicious and inexpensive vegetarian dinner for weeknights. Ready in just 30 minutes!
I still haven’t quite snapped out of summer vacation mode yet. Cooking seems to require more effort than usual. Actually, making a cup of tea requires quite some more effort, too. It’s times like these that I’m so glad I can throw some pasta, sauce, and cheese in a pan, and call it dinner. Pasta solves all problems, usually.
For this pasta dish, I tossed in whatever protein I could find around the house, which happened to be a can of chickpeas. The star of the show, however, is the shredded mozzarella.
Have you ever tried smoked mozzarella? The texture is a lot like regular mozzarella, but the outside is golden and slightly tough from the smoking process. The flavors are quite intense when you eat smoked mozzarella on its own. I was initially worried that the smokiness of the cheese would be too much for this pasta, but I couldn’t be more wrong. The cheese pairs very well with the pasta. Every person who’s tried this dish loves it, too!
MY COOKING NOTES
- Baking the pasta: To prepare the dish for the photos, I sprinkled all the cheese on top of the pasta and baked it at 350F (175C) for 10 minutes. I helped to melt and brown the cheese a little. This baking step is optional—it tastes great even if you decide to stir the shredded cheese into the pasta. If you want the cheese to be more golden brown, leave it in the oven for another 5 minutes or so.
- Substitutions: Feel free to add whatever vegetables you have on hand. For example, you can swap baby spinach for kale, but make sure that you add the spinach last. Also, if you can’t find smoked mozzarella, regular mozzarella will work just fine.
If you make this recipe, let me know! Take a photo of your creation and tag me on Instagram so that I can give you a fist bump!
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