There's nothing ho-hum about this satisfying pasta dish layered with flavor thanks to a mix of basil, feta and eggplant and tomatoes bathed in a sweet-spicy marinade.
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 lb eggplant, diced (5 cups)
1 lb vine tomatoes, seeded and chopped (2 cups)
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp raw honey
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
6 oz whole-wheat spaghetti
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz baby spinach, chopped (6 cups)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, eggplant, tomatoes and 1/2 cup basil. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, 2 tbsp oil, honey, pepper flakes and black pepper. Pour over chickpea mixture and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tsp oil on medium-high. Sauté garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and sauté for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add chickpea mixture; cook for 10 minutes or until eggplant is softened. Slowly stir in reserved cooking water.
Return chickpea mixture to large bowl along with spaghetti. Stir in feta cheese. Top with remaining 1/3 cup basil.
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