Friday, September 30, 2016

Mediterranean Chickpea Ragu

This is the Mediterranean sister of the plant based version of the Filipino Menudo that I published in this blog many months ago. I added olives, oregano and paprika to the ingredients to attain the flavors characteristic of the Mediterranean dishes. The rest of the other ingredients are very similar.  I skipped the catsup that was in the Filipino version which I would have added in this Mediterranean version and instead tried to mimic what I thought might be in the catsup like vinegar and sugar.  I wanted a more purist approach to the preparation. It was that kind of day.  Instead of using the slow cooker, I used my skillet and just evaporated the liquid out to concentrate the flavor of the sauce coating the chickpeas.  I ate this over rice but it could easily land in a tortilla or bread or pastry and baked as a turnover.  This is filling, comforting and satisfying. You would like this to welcome you at the end of the day or greet you for breakfast with your toast.

Mediterranean Chickpea Ragu

  • 1 tsp olive oil or 1 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 green or red or yellow pepper, chopped into small cubes
  • 2 cans (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and washed
  • 1 small can tomato sauce 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup olives with pimento centers
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 zucchini, cubed

Place 1 tsp olive oil into a saute pan or you can use a tbsp of vegetable broth and heat it at medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, grape tomatoes and green or yellow pepper and saute till the onion is transparent.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the zucchini and heat through with stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the cubed zucchini at the end and just heat through.  You want this vegetable crisp and not soggy.

Serve over rice or bun or tortilla.  Enjoy!

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