Not Just a Dip! Spaghetti with Baba Ghanoush and Roasted Chickpeas

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Eggplants are awesome.

Lately, I love them roasted with a bit of lemon, garlic, and honey. Mmmm.
So, when I was having a craving for baba ghanoush, and having dip for dinner wouldn't do, I decided to adapt my recipe into a sauce for pasta. It came out beautifully, and I am going to put this dish into my Meatless Monday rotation for sure!

Gourmess' Spaghetti with Baba Ghanoush and Roasted Chickpeas
1 batch of baba ghanoush (store-bought is okay, but try my recipe here)
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Olive oil
1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp dried herbs (parsley, basil)
Kosher salt
*1/4 cup smoked ricotta
Ground black pepper
*Optional but recommended

Minimal MESS/ingredients/clean-up: Category 3

To Do:
  • Make the baba ghanoush per directions and set aside.
  • Lay the drained chickpeas on a paper towel and get rid of any excessive water and/or skins that have come off.
  • In a large bowl, toss the drained and dried chickpeas with the spices, a couple pinches of salt and 1-2 TBS of olive oil, until coated.
  • Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until browned and crispy.  Set aside, but keep warm.
  • Make your pasta according to package directions, and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta liquid. Keep warm.
  • Toss breadcrumbs with 1-2 TBS of olive oil, the dried herbs, and a pinch of salt, and toast in a warm oven or in a cast iron pan until browned.
  • Assemble your pasta: In a large bowl toss the cooked pasta with a portion of the baba ghanoush until coated, adding in the reserved pasta water a bit at a time to thin the sauce if needed.  Carefully stir in the chickpeas, then top with breadcrumbs and a dollop of smoked ricotta and a twist or two of the pepper mill before serving. Yum!