It’s been a long time since I’ve made a “pasta bake.” You know those gloriously cheesy casseroles of pasta perfection. I’m no stranger to pasta bakes – being from Iowa “The Land of the Casseroles” – as I affectionally call it, we love anything that can be thrown in the oven and become a complete dinner. Over the years as I’ve attempted to include healthier / whole foods as the base of my food intake, pasta bakes have taken a back seat. Like way back. Basically they’re that crumpled up piece of paper in the back of my trunk that has been untouched for the majority of this decade.
All. Things. Changed. The moment Banza Chickpea Pasta entered my life. I was going about my business, when one day this new(ish) startup company contacted me and asked if it was okay to send me their product. Sure, I replied – no risk to me, right? A few days later six boxes of chickpea pasta ended up on my front steps. What am I going to do with six boxes of “pasta.” And chickpea “pasta.” I mean come on, to quote Inside Out “Congratulations San Fransisco – you’ve managed to ruin pizza.” ( For those of you who haven’t seen it, the emotion Anger, was upset that there was broccoli on pizza)…But insert pasta for pizza. You get what I’m going for here, right? Why ruin pasta by trying to make it healthy? (Oh and yes – I know pasta can be a delicious part of a healthy diet if it’s made from scratch using fresh ingredients, so don’t get the pasta police after me – deal?)
I cautiously boiled a batch of chickpea pasta and combined it with store bought marinara sauce one night while I was rummaging through my pantry looking for something quick to make for dinner. HOLY SMOKES!!!!! Game changer. Chickpea pasta for breakfast / lunch / dinner / snack / dessert … haha …. okay well maybe I’m getting a little carried away, but it was delish! So back to the kitchen I went to bring you this tasty (chickpea)Pasta Bake!
Visit their website to find a location near you to purchase this awesomeness. Oh …. and here’s the ingredient list: chickpeas, tapioca, pea protein, xanthan gum….. da’ts it y’all. Nutrition totals per 2 oz: 190 calories / 14 gm protein / 8 gm fiber.
- 8 oz. Banza chickpea pasta
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cups chopped eggplant (1 small)
- ½ pound ground chicken sausage
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil, or ⅓ tsp dried
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp crushed red peper
- ½ cup shredded, mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large stockpot bring 6 cups water to boil, add Banza pasta stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes. Drain and rinse pasta, set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, chop eggplant and onion, and mince garlic.
- In a large non-stick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant; cook until tender - stirring frequently. Remove from skillet. Add ground chicken sausage, onion, and garlic to skillet. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Drain off fat. Stir in eggplant, tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, salt, and crushed red pepper.
- Add cooked pasta to 9 x 9 inch baking dish, pour meat mixture on top. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes.
This makes a very large portion. After Weight Loss Surgery if you are cooking for one or two I would suggest making this recipe as is, but dividing it into 3-4 portions and freezing for later use.
Let me know if you try this amazing new food! If you order online use my coupon code (dailyplate) for 25% off your purchase!