An Ode to Monochrome
We're at the height of summer with the sun at its most radiant, so let's celebrate a brilliant, often underrated food color, shall we?
The golden hue and cute pinched shape of these new chickpea and turmeric pinchetti have inspired me to create a dish elevating all things yellow!
This simple, flavorful two-ingredient pasta from my dear friend Monique Deschaines' 40+ year-old artisanal company (Al Dente Pasta) is a healthy way to eat more plant rich foods like legumes, and avoid all the harmful additives and GMOs that more often than not, make their way into modern "plant-based" products. Be sure to carefully read ingredients, ensuring first and foremost they are few and pronounceable.
As an intuitive chef, I view my plate as a canvas - a surface on which to creatively explore textures, tastes and colors.
No exception here as I layer the yellow ingredients and add in darker accents to finish.
This light dish also celebrates the beauty of turmeric root, which according to Ayurvedic medicine, is a cornerstone of wellness. Infused with turmeric powder, the pinchetti are subtle in spice and versatile enough for countless preparations.
Turmeric is best known for its anti-inflammatory effect in the body, but even more magical is its interaction with black pepper, which dramatically enhances its health benefits - hence the freshly ground pepper key to the garnish. The pepper's bold color and taste provide a dramatic pop against the yellow stage.
I encourage you take in this full sensory experience on your plate, admiring the beauty and nourishment of all things yellow and prepare your belly for healthy digestion ahead. Enjoy!
Chickpea Turmeric Pasta for Slow Summer Nights
Slice a yellow summer squash in half lengthwise and cut into half-moon shapes. Roughly chop a handful of cilantro leaves and 6-8 walnuts (raw or toasted).
Pour 1/3 to 1/2 a bag of Al Dente turmeric pinchetti into a pot of salted (like ocean salty!) boiling water. Gently stir and turn down the heat to maintain a low boil.
In another pan, pour in veggie broth to come up about ½ inch. Add the squash and simmer while the pasta is boiling. Try the pasta and once it’s almost al dente, use a slotted spoon and transfer it carefully to the pan, making sure to drip lots of juicy, starchy pasta water into the sauce. Mix together while adding a healthy glog of extra virgin olive oil and a handful of nutritional yeast (or parmesan for a more traditional option). This sauce will naturally develop a perfect consistency but feel free to add more pasta water to bind it.
Divide pasta into two bowls and finish with a squeeze of lemon and grate of zest, sprinkles of chopped cilantro and walnuts, flaky sea salt, and cracked black pepper.
How did you enjoy this creative and intuitive process? Please share in the comments below.