Pasta Salad with Chickpeas, Walnuts and Arugula

California Walnut Board
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins


1-- (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas)
4ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
-- Freshly ground black pepper
1/2pound small or medium-sized (up to 1-inch) dried whole-wheat pasta shells
1/2cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1cup (packed) coarsely chopped arugula (about 8 ounces)
1cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4cup balsamic vinegar
1teaspoon minced or crushed garlic (about 1 good-sized clove)
3/4teaspoon salt (plus some for the pasta cooking water)
1teaspoon dried thyme
1/2teaspoon dried oregano
1/4cup olive oil


  1. Stir chickpeas and mozzarella together in a large bowl, and grind in a generous amount of black pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, foil, or just a plate, and let it stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes.  
  2. When you are ready to assemble the dish, put up a large pot of water to boil over high heat and add a tablespoon of salt. Place a large colander in the sink. When the water boils, add the pasta, keeping the heat high. Cook for the amount of time recommended on the package, checking it toward the end of the suggested time, to be sure it is not getting overcooked. When the pasta isjust tender enough to bite into comfortably, dump the water-plus-pasta into the colander. Shake to mostly drain (it’s okay to leave some water clinging), then transfer directly to the chickpea mixture in the bowl. 
  3. Toss well from the bottom, sprinkling in the Parmesan, chopped arugula, tomatoes and walnuts as you go.  Serve at room temperature or chilled – plain, or garnished with any of the extras listed below.
  4. Dressing: In a bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic, salt, thyme and oregano; whisk to blend.  Keep whisking as you drizzle in the olive oil until it is fully incorporated. Makes about ½ cup dressing.

Recipe courtesy of Mollie Katzen.

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 390
  • Glycemic Load 0
  • Fat 16g
  • Saturated Fat 4g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 7g
  • Cholesterol 14mg
  • Sodium 405mg
  • Carbohydrate 35g
  • Fiber 6g
  • Protein 16g