The Philly Recipe Project: Creamy Toum Pasta Salad with Za'atar Roasted Vegetables

The Philly Recipe Project: Creamy Toum Pasta Salad with Za'atar Roasted Vegetables

The Philly Recipe Project: Showing you new ways to use delicious vegan products local to Philly at home!

A dish inspired by the comforting and flavorful fare at POM POM Philly!

POM POM is a true treasure to anyone looking for a tasty vegan or vegetarian meal on Frankford Ave. Pay them a visit just once, and you're highly likely to develop a craving for one or more of their reliably delicious sandwiches, burgers, salads, or sides. Za'atar fries are one of POM POM's signature sides, and they come with a thick, garlicky sauce for dipping called toum. The za'atar they use is a special house blend (plenty of sumac in there) and all of their toum is made in-house as well. The combination of the two ingredients is incredible, inspiring you to think up as many other ways to eat them together as you can.

But think no further, this toum pasta salad with za'atar roasted veggies and chickpeas will give you POM POM comfort food vibes at home! POM POM does not currently sell their toum, so a recipe is linked below.


2 cups macaroni, dry
1 shallot, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1 zucchini, cubed
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup toum (make your own toum using this recipe)
2 tbsp za'atar seasoning
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp lemon zest, grated
3 tsp lemon zest, julienned then roughly diced
1/2 tsp unrefined sugar
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
fine salt
olive oil
sunflower oil


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 5 minutes, or until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop further cooking. Refrigerate to cool completely.

  2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Pat any excess moisture dry from cauliflower and chickpeas. Add chickpeas to a bowl with 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp diced lemon zest, coriander, cumin, 1 tsp of za'atar, and a small amount of olive oil. Mix until chickpeas are evenly coated. Spread chickpeas in an even layer on 1/2 of one baking sheet. Add cauliflower florets to the same bowl used to season chickpeas, along with 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp diced lemon zest, 3 tsp of za'atar, and a small amount of olive oil. Mix cauliflower to coat evenly in seasonings, then place florets onto other half of the baking sheet in an even layer. Place baking sheet with chickpeas and cauliflower into oven and allow to roast for 25-35 minutes. Flip cauliflower halfway through cooking and remove once edges are deeply browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate cauliflower and leave chickpeas at room temp.

  1. Place cubed zucchini in an even layer on half of second baking sheet. Add tomatoes, 1/2 tsp salt, sugar, and a small amount of sunflower oil to a bowl. Mix to evenly coat. Spread tomatoes in an even layer next to zucchini. Place baking sheet on the top rack of oven and set oven to broil. Broil for about 2 minutes, or until tomato skins start to blacken. Transfer both to a bowl and toss with olive oil and 1 tsp za'atar. Cool in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

  2. In a large bowl, mix toum with grated lemon zest, the juice of 1/2 lemon, celery, and shallots. Add cold macaroni, cold roasted veggies (but not chickpeas), and mix until everything is well-combined.

  3. Serve topped with crispy chickpeas & enjoy!

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