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balsamic chickpea pasta with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, and walnuts

After 3 days, 1,660 miles, and 1 game of matching up what candy bar we and our closest friends and family are(I’m a Salted Nut Roll by the way), we finally made it to Seattle!  My mom and I left Sunday morning and spent a total of 26 hours of driving on I-90W to the Pacific Northwest.  We arrived in Seattle Tuesday afternoon, at which point we were informed that my apartment was still being cleaned out by the previous tenant.  So then, after 4 hours of waiting to get into my apartment, 2 trips to Target, 2 trips to Bed Bath and Beyond, multiple trips to used furniture shops, and 1 trip to IKEA, I am finally settled in.  Whew!  


It’s been a long 3 days of unpacking and getting things settled in, but it’s been full of adventure too.  Oh, and we’ve also been eating.  A lot.  This afternoon after a jog around Green Lake, we were ready for a healthy lunch that didn’t require eating out again.  I’ve had this dish in the back of my mind ever since I saw Natalie post it on her blog The Sweet’s Life.  Every day Natalie makes something drool-worthy but this one in particular caught my eye.  I really loved the tanginess from the balsamic vinegar along with the different textures from the chewy pasta, creamy mozzarella, and the crunchy walnuts.  It ended up being a delicious, quick, and healthy lunch to fuel my mom and I for an afternoon of walking around Seattle.  



Before I post the recipes, here are a few pictures from the beginning of my Seattle adventures just for fun.












Okay, okay, I’m done.  Here’s the recipe. 

Balsamic Chickpea Pasta with Spinach, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Walnuts
adapted from The Sweets Life

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano 
3/4 tsp kosher salt
4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small chunks
1/2 lb whole wheat rotini pasta
3-4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Toast walnuts for 8-10 minutes, or until they become fragrant.  

Bring medium pot of water to boil, and cook pasta as directed on package.  Drain and set aside. 

While water is heating, you can make the dressing.  Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, and salt and whisk to combine.  Add dressing to pasta, then add the chickpeas, spinach, mozzarella, parmesan, sun dried tomatoes, and walnuts, and toss to combine.  Enjoy!

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  1. Oh babe I’m so glad to hear you’re getting settled in. Moving is rough but it seems like you’re coping really well! Especially with delicious pasta dishes like this, which just make everything better!

  2. You are going to love Seattle and it seems, in the great scheme of things anyway, that your move went smoothly. That you can cook so soon and make something so delicious, speaks well of your cooking and organizational abilities. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  3. We recently traveled to Seattle as well and fell in love with Pike’s Place Market – it truly is amazing! Glad you enjoyed it and your pasta is perfection!

  4. I’m so glad you enjoyed this as much as I did–seriously one of my favorite pasta dishes!

    I hope you keep posting pictures of Seattle, such a great city, you’re going to love it!

  5. This looks terrific! In fact, we are having it for supper tonight! Perfect meal for a hot humid evening… Loved seeing the pictures of Seattle! I know a certain young man from Minnesota that cannot wait to get there …(: