Fusilli with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Feta

1-16 oz. box fusilli (spiral-shaped) pasta

Fusilli with Spinach, Chickpeas, and Feta

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2  teaspoon salt

1/2  teaspoon black pepper

2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas, drained

9-ounce bag fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

In a large serving bowl, combine crushed garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and chickpeas.  Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. While pasta is cooking, chop spinach leaves and add to bowl.  Add crumbled feta and toss well.  Drain pasta and add to bowl; toss again.  Serve warm.  (10-12 servings)

This is one of my favorites and makes a  frequent appearance at family barbecues. It is simple and most of the steps can be completed well in advance of the crowd’s arrival (just short of cooking and adding the pasta).  Make sure you cook your pasta just until firm (al dente) as over cooking pasta causes the starch to be broken down into sugar more readily.  Chickpeas are legumes; they are a healthful carbohydrate with a low glycemic index (producing very little blood sugar).  They are a healthful source of  protein,  folate, magnesium, and zinc, and they are low in fat.  Spinach is rich in iron, calcium, and lutein (good for eye health).

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