Cherry Tomato and Baked Feta Fettuccine w/ Crispy Chickpeas
Herbs, orange zest, pepper flakes, basil
by priti malhotra
Priti learned to cook under the tutelage of her mother, an excellent cook, who was ahead of her times, experimenting with recipes and ingredients that were not staple in Indian kitchens at that time. For example, she made taco shells from scratch, when very few around knew what a “taco” was. Priti, through osmosis, absorbed her passion for creativity and stellar food presentation.
Now, Priti creates easy to follow, non-fussy, vegetarian and plant based recipes, melding the traditional with the new. She is always on a look out to try new ingredients, oils, spices, and to create something different, adapt and merge together food from different cultures. When she entertains friends, she likes to display, on her kitchen island, attractive bite-sized foods that go well with wine. Priti also enjoys exploring off-the-grid bars, wineries, coffee shops and restaurants and soak in everything that her beautiful town and state has to offer.
1 small pack cherry tomatoes/colorful medley tomatoes
1/2 block Violife feta (or any other plant-based feta)
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper
1/2 pack fettuccine
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
The crispy chickpeas can be made in advance on the same day.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Place them on paper towels and pat to dry. Using a paper towel, remove as many of the chickpea skins as possible.
In a mixing bowl, stir the chickpeas with the olive oil, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Pour chickpeas on to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread them into a single layer. Bake for about 35 minutes until crispy and dry. Shake the pan every 10-12 minutes during the baking time. Let them cool.
Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Place the feta block in the center of a large baking dish. Press orange zest and a few rosemary leaves on the cheese. Scatter the cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves around the feta. Season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy), and a drizzle of good olive oil. Add a sprig of rosemary. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
While the tomatoes and cheese are baking, bring water in a large pasta pot to a boil. Salt the water. Add the fettuccine and cook according to package directions. Drain the fettuccine.
The baked cheese will now be soft and melted and tomatoes should be cooked through. Broil for a minute or two. Remove from the oven and discard the rosemary sprig. Mix it all well,
pressing down with fork. Add the drained fettuccine to the baked tomato and feta. Taste for salt and pepper. Mix well until all the components are well incorporated and the result is a creamy pasta bursting with roasted tomatoes. The whole dish comes together in one pan.
Ladle the creamy tomato fettuccine in flat pasta bowls. Garnish with crispy chickpeas and fresh basil, and serve immediately.