I can’t believe four months have passed since we moved back home here to Boston. It’s been 3 1/2 years since I’ve experienced a Boston Fall, and I’m literally drooling over the prospect of going outside and feeling cold air on my face, crispy leaves crunching under my feet and seeing the way the autumn light casts a glow over everything—especially in the mornings and late evenings. Late October through the cold days of early March are my favorite months, and I make a point to savor every single day of it. Winter for me feels clean+cozy, and brings a heightened perception of colors, flavors, smells and sounds.
I’ve missed the way food tastes in the winter, and how satisfying it feels to cook and eat during this time. The dark and cold outside somehow makes the warm and bright inside so comforting.
We had a few cooler days here and there in the last several weeks, so on one of those days, I took the opportunity to jack up my oven, roast some stuff, boil some carby things and pull it all together with a creamy, comforting sauce. This dish came together from a mishmash of items I already had on hand, except for the on-the-wine tomatoes and lemon.
for the tomatoes
- 8 oz small tomatoes, left on the vine
- 1–2 TB olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2–4 cloves garlic, minced
for the chickpeas
- 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp salt
for the panko
- 1/2 cup panko
- 2 tsp olive oil
for the sauce
- 2 TB olive oil or vegan butter, divided
- 2 small shallots, sliced
- 2 TB coconut cream (scrape the thick stuff off the top of the can)
- lemon, zested (reserve half) and 1/2 juiced
- 2 servings of pasta, cooked and drained
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- reserved lemon zest
- 1 TB capers
Preheat oven to 375.
To roast the tomatoes
- Place them into a cast iron pan drizzled with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Drizzle the remaining oil over the top, then season with salt and pepper. Place into the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, or just until the skins start to lightly burst.
- Sprinkle the garlic over the top and roast for just a few minutes more, taking care not to let the garlic brown or burn.
To roast the chickpeas
- Place the chickpeas onto a baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. Season with the basil and salt, and roast for about 15 minutes. Transfer the chickpeas to another spot and reuse for the panko.
To toast the panko
- Place the panko onto the baking sheet, spreading it out into an even layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and bake for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning. The panko is done when it is slightly golden.
To make the sauce
- Warm the butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the shallots and toss to coat. Once softened, add in the coconut cream and heat just until warmed. Add in half of the lemon zest and juice. Taste and adjust as needed. Add in the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
- Distribute pasta between two bowls. Top with the tomatoes, chickpeas, panko, fresh parsley, reserved lemon zest and capers. Serve immediately.