Pasta with Chickpeas, Greens and Tomatoes
Serves 4 to 6
This vegetarian pasta recipe is a quick, easy, healthy and delicious Italian-inspired main dish. I always have frozen greens on hand for those times when I need them for an unplanned dinner, so I chose that over fresh for this recipe. I find that frozen turnip greens have an assertive flavor without any bitterness and stand up to cooking better than something like frozen spinach. However, you can use any frozen or fresh green that you like. Fresh escarole would be great in this recipe. Whatever you use, adjust the cooking time if needed.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 to 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 4 ounces frozen greens, such as turnip greens
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes, crushed slightly, with juices
- 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) chickpeas, preferably low-sodium, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
- 1 pound penne rigata or similar pasta, preferably whole wheat or multigrain
- Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Place the oil and garlic in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the greens. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Season again with salt and pepper, as well as the oregano and rosemary. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat until slightly reduced. Add the chickpeas. Cover and cook about 5 more minutes. Use a potato masher or back of a fork to lightly mash the chickpeas. Do not overdo it, because you want lots of texture.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce with some of the cooking water if needed for moisture and cook about 1 more minute to blend the flavors. Serve immediately, passing the cheese separately.