Autumn is in the air and there is nothing more that I love than autumnal nosh, complete with some sort of of seasonal squash and overall warm goodness. This dish comes to together remarkably well and the combination of the crunchy chickpeas, sweet squash and nutty pesto make for a delicious homemade dinner. I highly suggest using pistachio oil to help bring out the bright, rich flavor of the pistachios themselves and feel free to made the pesto ahead of time for a quick throw together after a long day! Happy Fall!
Pistachio Pesto Orecchiette with Crispy Chickpeas and Delicata Squash
- 1 delicata squash, deseeded and sliced into 1/2 inch half moons
- 1 pound orecchiette pasta or another pasta shape of your liking
- 1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 1/2 cup shelled roasted or raw pistachios
- 1 lemon
- 1 small garlic glove
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 3 tablespoons pistachio oil, or walnut or olive
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and put a large pot of water on boil. Prep the pesto by adding to a food processor or blender, the pistachios, arugula, juice of lemon, garlic glove, 1 tablespoon of pistachio oil and salt and pepper. Pulse until greens are pulverized and you have a nice creamy pesto sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Prep delicata squash and toss with 1 tablespoon pistachio oil and salt and pepper. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and add to the top middle rack of the oven. Add drained and dried chickpeas to a bowl and toss with the remaining oil, salt and pepper and smoked paprika. Add to another parchment linked baking sheet and bake in the lower middle rack under the squash for approximately 30 minutes, checking halfway to switch trays and shack to prevent burning.
Meantime, boil pasta until al dente, reserve a half cup of pasta water and toss with 1/2-more of the pesto, using the reserved pasta water to thin and make a sauce if needed. Remove the cooked squash and chickpeas and add to the pot of pesto pasta and stir everything together. Dash with plenty of red pepper flakes and devour!
*Pesto can last up to one week in the fridge.