This post is sponsored by Barilla, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Super easy and quick healthy Mediterranean pasta with artichokes and olives prepared using awesome flavors and nutritious ingredients. You can prepare this dish in about 20 mins or so using Chickpea Rotini pasta from Barilla. Perfect for a light meal or as a side dish.
Why Do I use Barilla Chickpea Pasta?
In this recipe, I am using Barilla chickpea rotini. It is prepared using only one ingredient which is just chickpeas. This means it is…
- naturally gluten-free
- a good source of plant-based protein
- an excellent source of fiber and
- there is no added sodium or cholesterol
- also non-GMO
I was really surprised to see that there is nothing else added to it, no chemicals, no preservatives, and not even an egg. Which is why I am loving this brand over others for legume pasta. As you guys must be aware, I support only those brands that use clean ingredients.
From my own experience, I find the texture of this chickpea rotini better than other healthy pasta options available in the market. Moreover, the taste of this pasta is so perfect that you won’t miss the semolina (classic pasta flour) in it.
After reading all of this, if you are interested in trying out Barilla Chickpea Rotini, you can purchase here at Target! They also have a red lentil variety, also made with only ONE ingredient!
Whenever I want to prepare quick dishes for busy times, pasta recipes (like pasta salad) come to the rescue. You can cook pasta on one burner and simultaneously prepare the sauce or veggies on the other to add to the dish. And your meal will be ready in no time.
Here I am sharing with you a quick and easy healthy pasta with artichokes and olives. It is full of Mediterranean flavors. Let’s get started!
What you will need?
- Pasta – for this recipe I am using gluten-free pasta made from chickpeas! I bought this Barilla Chickpea Pasta (rotini) at a Target store (you can get it here). I feel except for super long types such as spaghetti, fettucini, etc., any pasta shape will work for this dish.
- Zucchini – fresh zucchini to add more nutrition.
- Tomato – use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes.
- Artichoke hearts – I got it from the Mediterranean bar in our local grocery store. You can also use canned ones or cook them freshly at home.
- Olives – use your favorite olives. I used a blend of green and kalamata olives.
- Garlic – fresh garlic to add flavor to the pasta.
- Oil – use some cooking oil to cook the veggies and additional extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the final dish.
- Seasonings – use salt and black pepper according to your preference.
How to make healthy Mediterranean pasta with artichokes and olives?
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add a generous amount of salt to the water. Then add pasta to the boiling water and cook as per package instructions. The chickpea rotini that I am using takes about 7 mins. to cook. Turn off the heat, drain the water and rinse the pasta with cold water to avoid overcooking.
While the pasta is being cooked, heat some cooking oil in a large skillet. Add chopped garlic and cook until fragrant. Add diced zucchini, tomato, and cook until they are nice and tender. Then add cooked pasta, artichoke hearts, olives, fresh basil leaves, salt, and pepper. Mix gently to combine well. Turn off the heat and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the pasta. Garnish with some more fresh basil, raw tomato pieces, and serve warm.
- A bowl of this healthy Mediterranean pasta with artichoke and olives is perfect for a light meal.
- You can pair it with healthy salads like cucumber and avocado salad.
- Serve it on the side of warm healthy soups like creamy tomato soup, broccoli soup, or cauliflower soup etc.
- For a wholesome meal add this pasta dish into the menu along with homemade dinner rolls or whole wheat focaccia bread, healthy eggplant parmesan, and one of the healthy soups mentioned above. You can also turn this into a healthy party menu easily.
- Flavorful pasta – Add salt generously to the boiling water for cooking the pasta. Taste the water and see if it is a bit strong in salt. This way the pasta will absorb enough salt that you would prefer to have in your final dish.
- Do not add basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil while cooking the veggies. The heat will reduce its flavors. Add them once the cooking is over and the heat is turned off.
- Meat – Meat lovers can add cooked chicken or leftover roasted chicken to make this pasta more filling and rich in protein.
- Vegetables – use more veggies like broccoli florets, a variety of bell peppers, and onion to add more colors and nutrition to the dish.
- Cheese – you can also add grated parmesan or some feta cheese in the end for more flavors.
How to cook perfect pasta all the time?
Use at least 3-4 times the water to cook the pasta. Add enough salt to the water and taste test. It should be a little on the higher side of salt. This way the pasta will absorb enough of it for your liking. Add pasta once the water comes to a boil and not before that. Cook for the time mentioned on the package. Once the timer is off, drain the water and rinse it with cold water to avoid overcooking. If your sauce or veggies are already prepared, then there is no need to rinse the pasta. You can immediately add them to the veggies/sauce.
How to store and reuse leftover pasta?
Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I prefer to use it within 1-2 days. Before serving again, sprinkle some water over the pasta and then microwave for 1 min. Mix gently and continue heating for another 1 min (or more depending on the quantity). Serve while it is warm.
Healthy Mediterranean Pasta With Artichokes and Olives
- 8-10 oz chickpea rotini or use your choice of pasta
- 3-4 quarts water
- 1 medium zucchini diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved (or use cherry tomatoes)
- 2 medium garlic cloves chopped
- 4-6 artichoke hearts cut into quarters
- ¼ cup kalamata olives pitted and cut into half along their length
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- salt and black pepper
- Bring 3-4 quarts of water to boil. Add 2-3 teaspoon salt and raw pasta. Let it cook for 7 mins (or based on package instructions). Drain and rinse with cold water. Keep it aside.
- While the pasta is getting cooked, heat some cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and saute until fragrant for about 30-40 seconds.
- Then add diced zucchini, halved grape or cherry tomatoes (reserve some for garnishing later) and cook them for about 5 mins or until tender.
- Season with salt and black pepper.
- Now add cooked pasta, artichoke hearts, olives, and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and gently mix everything well.
- Finally, garnish with fresh basil leaves and cherry tomatoes. Serve warm.
- For cooking the pasta, follow package instructions. For this recipe, the Barilla Chickpea Rotini took 7 mins to get the perfect texture that we prefer. In general, whole wheat or brown rice-based pasta take a longer time to cook.
- I bought artichoke hearts and pitted olives from the Mediterranean bar in our local grocery store. These are kept submerged in vinegar and oil. Therefore, it also added a nice taste to the final dish.
- You can also use some dried oregano or Italian seasoning mix to flavor this dish. Add it towards the end of cooking the zucchini and tomatoes.
I love pasta salads, especially ones that are healthy! This sounds perfect and I can’t wait to give it a try 🙂