Olive & Pepper Penne Salad with Citrus Chickpea Dressing

While many are enjoying summer festivities, there are a few that cannot wait for the school year. The start of the school year is fast approaching and this summer, it has been hard for some children. Hunger strikes many people all over the country and as a food blogger/chef, it pains me to think of individuals who don't have proper meals. Summer is especially difficult because many federal breakfast and lunch support programs are only in operation during the school year. That means during the summer, there is a definite increase need for food assistance. And it also means that 21 million children are missing out on free or reduced-price meals in the summer months from June until September.

In an effort to help fight hunger, I've teamed up with Dreamfields Pasta in their special Pastapalooza Market Basket ChallengeThroughout the summer, Dreamfields Pasta will be hosting five separate “Market Basket Challenges” where bloggers are asked to use ingredients in a market basket (plus up to 2 other ingredients) to create an original pasta salad, side dish or summer entree recipe. 

Readers, fans, friends and followers are called to vote for the recipe they like best during each challenge - one vote can be casted per day for the recipe of your choice and each challenge will last one week.

The winning recipe/blogger will receive a $1,000 donation made in their name to their local food bank. A $200 donation will also be made to the local food bank of each runner-up. 

And as a bonus – one voter from each Market Basket Challenge will be chosen at random to win a family pack of Dreamfields pasta and a $1,000 donation to the food bank of their choice. So the more readers, fans, friends and followers vote, the more chances I have to win!

For my Middle Eastern Market Basket Challenge, I was asked to prepare a dish using the following ingredients: cumin/Za’atar/Harissa, legumes, garlic, chutney and citrus.I also had the option to also add up to two ingredients of my choice to round out my dish. Dreamfields pasta, salt, pepper, oil and water were “free ingredients.” 

With Middle Eastern flavors in mind, I was inspired to make this Olive & Pepper Penne Salad with a Citrus Chickpea Dressing. And if I win, I would love to donate winnings to the Northern Illinois Food Bank... It's a local organization that's close to my heart and I support their efforts to help those in need in my area.

So if you would like to help fight hunger while enjoying a new recipe of Middle Eastern flavors, please vote for my dish here at the Dreamfields Pastapalooza voting pageVoting ends for The Middle Eastern Basket Challenge ends at 11:59PM EDT, July 29, 2015.


original recipe by What's Cookin, Chicago

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

1 pound Dreamfields Penne Rigate

1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained, divided

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup tomato chutney

2 medium lemons, juiced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

1/4 cup roasted red peppers, sliced



1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Place pasta in large bowl; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, place 1/4 cup of the garbanzo beans, cumin, water, oil, chutney, lemon juice

and garlic in bowl of food processor; pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper,

as desired. Toss dressing with pasta. Add remaining garbanzo beans, olives and

roasted red peppers; toss to combine well. Serve immediately or chilled.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe): 430 calories; 11 g protein; 67 g carbohydrates; 16 g total

fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 350 mg sodium; 8 g total dietary fiber.

No comments