This dish is one of those secret weapon dishes. Since Jacob turns down almost all vegetables these days, I have to hide them. Thankfully, that is what the blender is for. Sautéing the chickpeas before adding the sauce, really helps give them a toasty texture.
The ingredient that gives this dish a subtle kick is the massa de pimentão. Portuguese for ‘bell pepper’, it is a flavorful sweet pepper paste made from red peppers and salt. In stores you can find variations of this paste that include garlic or olive oil. But of course I am partial to the variety I grew up with. Growing up I remember spending a few days in September every year in my grandparents garage manually grinding peppers for them to be mixed with salt, then canned. I stir this sauce into every dish that I can – tomato soup, potatoes and onion dishes, stir fry, fajitas casseroles, rice, on pizza and especially in red pasta sauce dishes. When you use this paste, go easy on the salt since the pimentão is already salted.
- 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 15 oz. canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 small white or yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. truffle oil
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes in basil, garlic and oregano (or add your own separately)
- 1 raw red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. pimentão paste
- Heat truffle oil in a large pan and sauté onions until translucent, then add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and chickpeas get crisp on the outside. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
- Add the mushrooms and stir occasionally until cooked. Mushrooms have a lot of moisture in them, so adding more liquid or oil is not necessary.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, add red pepper, canned tomatoes, tomato paste and pimentão paste to the blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the red pepper and tomato puree to the pan with the chickpeas and turn the heat to low. Add a little prepared tomato sauce if you want to stretch the sauce a little further.
- Serve over cooked gluten free pasta.