Hummus. The smooth chickpea-based dip that exploded into our lives in the late 2010s. It’s now readily available in a 1kg tub at most supermarkets and can also be whipped up at home in mere minutes using just a food processor.
But hummus has a dirty secret. It makes a really good pasta sauce.
I recently came across a handful of social media posts flaunting the goodness of spaghetti with hummus ‘sauce’.
I thought, ‘yuck’. I was wrong.
Beth Moncel, who runs the website Budget Bytes, touts the cost-savings and added protein of a hummus pasta sauce on her recipe for parsley scallion hummus pasta.
“I moved beyond eating hummus as a dip years ago,’ Moncel writes. “Hummus gives an almost creamy flavour to food without the use of any butter, cream, cheese, or animal-based ingredients. For that reason, it also makes a great ‘sauce’ for pasta.”
“Hummus gives an almost creamy flavour to food without the use of any butter, cream, cheese, or animal-based ingredients."
On a rainy evening, armed with nothing but a jar of olives, a packet of dried spaghetti and half a tub of hummus I thought it was only fair that I gave this combination a red hot go. So, I cooked my spaghetti al dente, then reluctantly spooned in some hummus, as well as my other accompaniments, then thinned it out with a little pasta water.
The meal was ready. It smelled like warm hummus and I was sceptical diving in. I thought, 'maybe this is another Instagram ploy', like the one claiming you can make crystals out of peanut butter and hot coal. I went in...
The result was magical! The fortified richness of chickpeas, olive oil and tahini were addictive. It all came together harmoniously thanks to the touch of acid from the lemon juice. It simply worked.
Other hummus-inspired pasta recipes include the addition of baby spinach or other leafy green herbs, though you could easily go off-road and throw in some grilled chicken or prawns. Even a sprinkling of parmesan and some chilli flakes... Your new pasta 'sauce' is now a blank canvas, ready for painting.
And if you're a dairy fiend then perhaps you should jump on the Washington Post's train of thought, as they suggest bulking out mac and cheese sauce with a good hummus to up the protein.
Either way, I am a convert and that tub sitting in my fridge won't just be relegated to bread and crackers.
Here are a few hummus recipes to get you stocked up.
One of the great culinary quests in life is finding the ultimate hummus recipe, and this could very much be it.
If you're looking for a spin on regular hummus, try this recipe that adds sundried tomatoes into the mix. The result is a richer, more vibrant angle on the traditional dip.
You want hummus to be creamy and buttery – adding the iced water is part of the secret. I use a lot of tahini in this recipe, but I want it to be super creamy.
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