Rustic Vegan Pasta with Cheesy Chickpea Crumble & Heirloom Tomatoes

Rustic vegan pasta with late summer tomatoes and a savoury-crunchy topping made from chickpeas. Simple, healthy, and delicious plant-based dinner that has only 10 ingredients.

An overhead shot of a bowl of pasta with chopped tomatoes and a savoury crumble-like topping.
This post is sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada.
Two images show ingredients in a. food processor bowl and then a pulsed "meal" of chickpeas in a bowl with a spoon.
An overhead shot of purple opal basil in a perennial garden in dappled sunlight.
A 3/4 angle shot of a bowl of chopped, different coloured tomatoes.


I guess it’s time for my annual end-of-summer tomato recipe post? And somehow I always manage to squeeze in some chickpeas with my tomatoes (see here and here). It’s a relief to know that some things never change!

In the interest of total honesty, I’ve been in an epic cooking rut lately. Something about the abundance this time of year that has me going the simplest route possible. Lots of smoothies and bowl mash-ups that give us more time to enjoy that golden (and fleeting) September light.

It’s also a transitional time, which is a confusing, but also kind of comforting, duality. In the spirit of dressing in layers, I’m combining my foods for all the different temperatures and moods lately. With this recipe, peak season tomatoes simply marinate for a good portion of the day. This process forms the very rustic “sauce.” I top wide ribbons of pappardelle with the tomatoes and an incredibly savoury chickpea crumble.

Whenever I roast chickpeas to the point of crispy and brown, ideally I’m consuming them right away. Not the case here. You want that chew and slight dryness to be present. After they’ve roasted and cooled with some browned pine nuts, those chewy morsels are ground up into my new favourite version of vegan parmesan. I make batches of vegan parm every other week or so, but the base is usually 100% nuts and seeds. This version is a little more friendly on the wallet, and it naturally fits right in with the International Year of Pulses. I find myself craving it with almost everything.

So! To the rustic pasta, and cool evenings, the focus that seasonal shifts bring, and all the other good stuff of my favourite in-between season. Big hug this week.

4 images show: a bowl of whole grape tomatoes, a cutting board with chopped tomatoes on top, a plate with fresh pasta on top, and a white platter with the finished rustic vegan pasta.
An overhead shot of a platter of pasta with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, and a savoury crumble-like topping.
A 3/4 angle shot of a bowl of pasta with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, and a savoury crumble-like topping.
rustic pasta with cheesy chickpea crumble and heirloom tomatoes - The First Mess
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Rustic Pasta with Cheesy Chickpea Crumble & Heirloom Tomatoes

Rustic vegan pasta with late summer tomatoes and a savoury-crunchy topping made from chickpeas. Simple, healthy, and delicious plant-based dinner that has only 10 ingredients.
PREP TIME15 mins
COOK TIME30 mins
Marinating Time4 hrs
TOTAL TIME4 hrs 45 mins
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Laura Wright

Ingredients

  • 2 heaped pints of small tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 small clove of garlic finely grated
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves sliced + extra
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ cup raw pine nuts
  • 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 lb 454 grams fresh, store-bought pappardelle pasta (see note)

Instructions

  • Slice all of the small tomatoes in half or into bite-sized pieces. Transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl. Toss the tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Towel dry the chickpeas as thoroughly as possible, and transfer them to a baking sheet. Toss the chickpeas with the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Slide the tray into the oven and roast until slightly crisp and browned, about 12 minutes. Remove the chickpeas from the oven and scatter the pine nuts onto the baking sheet. Roast pine nuts and chickpeas another 4-6 minutes, or until pine nuts are browned. Allow chickpeas and pine nuts to cool completely.
  • In a food processor, combine the roasted chickpeas and pine nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, lemon zest, and salt to taste. Pulse until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Transfer cooked pasta to the bowl with the tomatoes and toss. Top the rustic pasta with the cheesy chickpea crumble mixture and extra sliced basil. Serve immediately. If you have leftover chickpea crumble, it keeps in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 4 days.

Notes

  • I purchased some fresh lasagna sheets and just cut those into the pappardelle, but you could certainly use dried as well.
  • If you want to double up on the chickpea goodness, you could even do this with a chickpea-based pasta like Banza.

*This post was created in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!

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