Tahini does what dairy can’t, like sitting out in the sunshine. It creates a creamy base for a sauce to coat pasta, herbs and chickpeas in a hearty vegan dish. Fresh herbs brighten the dish; you can use any combination of your favorite soft herbs, such as parsley, dill or mint.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, grate the garlic and the zest of 1 lemon. Use a fork to vigorously stir in the tahini and the mustard. Squeeze in 1/4 cup lemon juice (from about 1 1/2 lemons) and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The mixture will be thick. The dressing will keep in the fridge for a week. Season again with salt and pepper and loosen with water before using.)
When the water’s boiling, add the pasta and chickpeas and cook until the pasta is just past al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta and chickpeas in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool to the touch, then shake to get rid of any water.
Vigorously stir 1/4 cup pasta water into the dressing until smooth, then add the pasta and chickpeas and toss until the noodles are well coated. Add more pasta water as needed. Stir in the herbs and sesame seeds, then season with salt and pepper before serving.
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