Spicy Pasta with Chickpeas and Spinach: Mara’s Pasta GIVEAWAY!!!

by simplylife on December 19, 2012

This time of year is busy.  In light of all that has been happening, I am grateful beyond words to have my regular routines and holiday events to keep me busy.  Whether you are spending extra time with loved ones this holiday season and/or picking-up extra shifts at the local retail store, we all have to find ways to squeeze in all the business during this time of year.

For many people (myself included), cooking an elaborate meal is often one of the first activities to be dropped in an effort to save time for something else.  While I am 100% okay with taking shortcuts when necessary, I also know that I always feel my best when I’m eating healthy meals to balance the abundance of sweets I enjoy during this time of year.  🙂

This is a perfect, quick meal to enjoy on a busy night.  It’s light, filling and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.  And an added bonus: it’s the perfect dish to enjoy before you savor Aunt Susie’s famous chocolate fudge.  🙂

For this meal, I used Mara’s Pasta I was sent to review.  Mara’s Pasta is 100% whole wheat, 100% traceable from field to table (I love this!), grown by a network of US family farmers, and high in protein and fiber.

I was sent this beautiful box filled with spaghetti, penne and fettuccine pasta.  I used the penne for this recipe and really enjoyed the freshness in every bite!  I have been very impressed by the nutritional aspects of every box and it is obvious Mara’s Pasta takes great pride in what they do, using quality ingredients and taking great care in every step of the way!  You can find their online shop here!


Spicy Pasta with Chickpeas and Spinach

by Simply Life

Keywords: saute entree side vegetarian leafy greens chickpeas beans pasta


  • 8 oz. whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tbs. olive oil, plus optional 1 tbs. olive oil “drizzle”
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups spinach
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water before draining.

2. When pasta is nearly done cooking, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chickpeas and cook 1-2 minutes, until heated evenly. Toss with cooked pasta, spinach, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes. If too dry, slowly add optional reserved cooking water and/or olive oil until desired consistency. Mix in parmesan cheese, serve and enjoy.

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The great news is that Mara’s Pasta is offering to send their pasta to one Simply Life reader!  To enter, do any/all of the following and let me know in the comments.  Giveaway will be open through December 23; winner must have a U.S. address (no P.O. Boxes).

Disclaimer: Mara’s Pasta provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

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  • http://whatisbakinginthebarbershop.blogspot.com/ Colleen

    What a great looking, easy weeknight meal!! And fun giveaway too. I’ve never had Mara’s Pasta but it looks delicious! I think I would use their penne pasta to make an awesome pumpkin mac n’ cheese 🙂 I like them on facebook too.

    • Simply Life

      oooh that sounds so good!

  • Heather

    I would probably make some tasty spaghetti and meatballs. The pasta looks so hearty and delicious!

  • Tasha

    I’m craving goat cheese right now, so I think I’d toss the pasta in a simple goat cheese sauce with lots of peas.

    • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

      Oh that’s a great idea! I love goat cheese with warm pasta!

  • Belinda @zomppa

    Such a great light pasta for these busy nights!

  • yummychunklet

    That penne pasta dish looks great!

  • Amy B @ Second City Randomness

    The most frequent way I use pasta is to throw whatever veggies I have in the refrigerator in a pot and use the pasta as a way to bulk up the meal… 🙂

  • afarmerinthedell.com

    I love adding chickpeas to pasta. This recipe looks so simple and delicious! yum

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    This looks so tasty! It’s not helping my current hunger over here, lol.

  • http://twitter.com/MsLynnChen Lynn Chen

    i’ve been wanting to make my dad’s pasta recipe for a while – would love to win this!

  • Balvinder

    Pasta with spinach, bring it on.

  • http://www.lawyerloveslunch.com/ Lawyer Loves Lunch

    Love the greens and whole wheat pasta! We have been one too many holiday sweets and although I love me a sweet treat, I’m starting to miss eating well. I would use this pasta to make a “real” meal- maybe a quick stovetop pasta bake with lots of fresh veggies 🙂

    • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

      oh that sounds great!

  • itzyskitchen

    mmmmmmm! Great, healthy dish! I would use this delicious pasta to make a lighter pasta bake with lots of winter veggies

  • http://wayfaringchocolate.com Hannah

    What a fantastic and innovative pasta dish! Love it!

  • camille

    I think the chorizo pasta sauce I just made would go great on some of this pasta!

  • http://www.facebook.com/theresa.r.neff Theresa Neff

    I like on facebook, follow on twitter, & follow on pinterest!!!

  • The Candid RD

    Great recipe! It seems so simple, yet full of flavor and lots of great ingredients. I would probably use white beans instead of chickpeas though, because I prefer them.
    Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity. I would use the pasta to make THIS! 🙂

  • Madeline

    I’d make a pesto chicken pasta salad!

  • Madeline

    I liked Mara on FB!

  • Madeline

    I’m following Mara on Twitter 🙂

  • Madeline

    And I’m following MAra on Pinterest too!

  • http://thehappinessinhealth.com/ Jessie (Happiness in Health)

    This whole grain pasta dish looks light and healthy – perfect for the holidays! I am 100% ok with keeping things simple this time of year also, and this dish fits the bill 🙂 I would use the pasta to try this dish, and perhaps something else simple like a tomato, basil, and mozz pasta salad!

  • The Squishy Monster

    What an inviting dish…I’d invite myself to 3rd helpings if I could =)

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    it’s SO easy to forget to cook normal meals at this time of year and revert to take-out…but you’re right, if I let that happen I feel awful! I’d much rather eat tons of healthy delicious pasta like this!

  • Julie

    like fb Julie A Scott Laws

  • Julie

    follow pinterest 321gem

  • Julie

    Looks delicious going to try and make

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.lammers.7 Jeffrey Lammers

    I would add some sundried tomatoes, feta, spinach, pine nuts and fresh basil to the penne. The spaghetti noodles would get a nice thin coating of a tomato sauce that I canned from my garden.

    • http://www.simplylifeblog.com/ Simply Life

      That sounds excellent!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.lammers.7 Jeffrey Lammers

    I Like Mara’s Pasta on Facebook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.lammers.7 Jeffrey Lammers

    I Follow Mara’s Pasta on Twitter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.lammers.7 Jeffrey Lammers

    I Follow Mara’s Pasta on Pinterest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.lammers.7 Jeffrey Lammers

    I get Mara’s Pasta emails at jefflammers@rocketmail.com.

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