Monday, October 18, 2010

Adventures in Hummus: Pasta Edition

I've been on a hummus kick lately, but that "kick" has almost exclusively consisted of dipping a variety of snacks -- Wheat Thins, pretzels, veggies -- in the delicious and healthy dip/spread. I have had it on a pita and with falafel before, but I started to think, "There's gotta be more I can do with this stuff." Last week I made some scrambled egg whites for breakfast and on a whim, put a few dollops of Tribe roasted red pepper hummus on top, and it was delicious.

Yesterday at Pathmark, I bought some artichoke-garlic Athenos hummus, which I've never had before. I was dipping pretzels in it today at work, and I have to admit, I wasn't too crazy about the flavor. I think I'm just not an artichoke fan. Anyway, while fantasizing about dinner, I did some brainstorming. I remember reading in one of my Rachael Ray mags something about tossing hummus with pasta. I didn't want this hummus to go to waste, and I thought if it was combined with a variety of other ingredients, the flavor wouldn't bother me as much. Long story short, this was my final plan: toss whole-wheat spaghetti with sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes I already had in the fridge, and make a sauce out of this hummus!

Pasta with Hummus and Sautéed Veggies

  1. Cook pasta (I recommend whole-wheat spaghetti) and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine 2 parts hummus, 1 part water (use your judgment with the amount of hummus to use, depending on how much pasta you're making).  Stir and place on low heat.
  3. In a skillet, heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.  Sauté chopped mushrooms until tender and browned, and add some chopped tomatoes at the very end.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To the skillet, add the pasta and hummus sauce.  Mix well.

The verdict? Using hummus as a pasta sauce is, in a word... interesting. It adds a creaminess much different from that of Alfredo sauce, for example. And I was right: the nuttiness of the pasta, meatiness of the mushrooms, and sweetness of the tomatoes all counterbalanced the "funny" taste I didn't like about the hummus, but you could definitely tell the hummus was there. And this was so, so easy to make.

Next adventure in hummus? MAKE MY OWN! Hmmm, perhaps that will be a blog in the very near future.


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