Post sponsored by Barilla. See below for more details.
When it comes to pasta in the winter, I tend towards pasta with cream sauces or loaded up on cheese. It’s a hold-over from all those snowy days in the Midwest. However, now I occasionally opt for something I can throw in the car for a road trip or work day. That’s where this pasta comes in with a little help from Barilla Chickpea Casarecce.
Roasted sweet potatoes, or not.
I recently asked my three-year old why he decidedly didn’t like sweet potatoes anymore. His answer: they taste like garbage. When I posted this on Instagram, there were quite a few people who agreed with him. So, this section is for those people.
Swap out the sweet potatoes for roasted squash or roasted cauliflower for the cooler months. During the summer months, you can bet that I’ll be making this with smoked tomatoes and sweet corn.
Batch it: Chimichurri
Chimichurri is one of those sauces I batch make because if I’m going to spend time making it, I’m going to make a lot of it. I use it on grain bowls, tacos, eggs, soups, and pasta (like in this recipe). You can make quick work of this sauce with help from the food processor, but I typically just use a knife to chop everything.
Barilla’s Chickpea Casarecce Pasta
As I mentioned before in the recipe for broccoli pesto pasta, I love the shape of this Chickpea Casarecce from Barilla. I also love that it’s only one ingredient but cooks up like traditional pasta (holiday it’s shape really well!) While I went with an extra saucy pasta last time, I wanted to showcase the versatility with this dish that’s a bit more pasta-salad than dinner dish. It’s the perfect pasta to pack-away for a work or picnic lunch. You can find all four varieties (Red Lentil Penne, Red Lentil Rotini, Chickpea Rotini and Chickpea Casarecce) on Amazon.
Heat your oven to 425˚F. Give the sweet potatoes a good scrub and cut into ¼” cubes. Place on a sheet tray and toss with the minced garlic, olive oil, and salt. Roast until the sweet potatoes are tender and starting to brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the chimichurri.
Finally, cook the pasta. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Chickpea Casarecce and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, and return the pasta back to the pot.
When the sweet potatoes are done, add them to the pasta along with ⅓ to 1/2 cup of the chimichurri. Stir to combine and serve hot. This pasta can also be served chilled. Whichever way you go, keep extra chimichurri on hand- the pasta likes to soak up the sauce and you might need a bit more!
Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Barilla. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week.
I did not like tomatoes as a child. My mom grew tomatoes in our garden and I always turned up my nose at them. What a missed opportunity to enjoy something so delicious! As an adult with my own garden, I was excited to grow a big harvest this summer. Unfortunately, both tomato plants died before they produced any fruit! If you’re lucky enough to have a homegrown bounty of fresh tomatoes still warm from the summer sun, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad.
In fact, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad even if you don’t have a vegetable garden. That is, unless you’ve discovered this recipe in the dead of winter and all you can find are bland greenhouse tomatoes. In that case, bookmark this page and come back in summer when tomatoes have the absolute best flavor. I used pearl tomatoes on the vine for this recipe because they’re the perfect bite size when sliced into quarters. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand!
This marinated tomato and avocado salad is a fantastic summer recipe whether you’re barbecuing at home or headed out for a picnic. The tomatoes can chill in the fridge while you prep the rest of your feast, making this a really simple recipe to prepare if you’re in charge of multiple dishes. Dice and add the avocado just before serving for the best results.
While incredibly fresh and delicious on its own, there are many ways you can bulk up this marinated tomato and avocado salad if you need to feed a crowd. Try adding cooked quinoa, couscous, or farro. Or, turn it into a pasta salad by adding cooked and cooled shells or penne. I have big plans to spread this salad on crusty bread for a bruschetta-inspired appetizer.
1 or 2 ripe avocados, diced (depending on your preference and the size of your avocados)
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
Quarter the pearl tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Peel the red onion and cut it in half from tip to root. Place the flat part of the onion on your cutting board and carefully slice it into thin half moons. Add the onion to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Combine the chopped garlic, lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. The marinade should be salty, tangy, and just a tad sweet – adjust the ingredients until balanced.
Pour the marinade over the sliced tomatoes and onion and gently toss to coat. Marinate the tomatoes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Just before serving, drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes. Tip: if you’re serving this salad with cooked quinoa, couscous, or pasta, reserve the marinade for extra dressing. Transfer the marinated tomatoes and onions to a serving platter and add the diced avocado. Top with chopped cilantro and serve fresh.