This tasty dish comes together in less than a half hour, perfect for weeknight dinners and meatless Mondays. Comfort food can be healthy, and it doesn’t have to take all day either!
The following serves 4 (compliments of Cuisine Light and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):
- 1 heaping cup of dry whole wheat orzo
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- Kosher salt
- Red pepper flakes
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- Lemon zest
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Grated parmesan
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season liberally with salt and cook orzo to al dente, according to package directions. Reserve a little of the pasta water, then drain the orzo.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute a few minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 1 minute. Add bell pepper and saute another few minutes. Season with salt to taste and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Next add the eggplant and cook until eggplant begins to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add wine to eggplant and simmer until liquid is almost evaporated. Stir in the broth and tomato paste and mix well. Add chickpeas and simmer until mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and season with salt to taste.
Next add the orzo and a little of the pasta water, mix well to combine and cook on low for another minute or so. Stir in a good dusting of lemon zest and some of the chopped parsley. Mix to combine and taste, adjusting seasoning if needed.
Dish out the orzo and garnish with more parsley and parmesan.