If you are looking for a quick, yet satisfying, weeknight pasta dinner, this is for you. It’s not the most amazing pasta dish ever, but it really is so simple and it’s a wonderful springboard for other ideas. The recipe can easily be made from ingredients in your pantry or freezer. The original recipe calls for whole wheat pasta, but I used regular this time. It also calls for frozen broccoli, but I still had some lovely broccoli from last week’s CSA shipment. Which brings me to another point, sometimes I don’t get all of my vegetables used up in one week, so it might be almost 10 days before I get to them (and, ahem, it’s even been 2 weeks on some). But the thing is, they still taste fresher than what I get fresh at the grocery store! Seriously! This broccoli had been in my fridge for a week and a half, and it was way more crisp and fresh than any other broccoli that I’ve ever had!! I’ve never stopped to think how long it took for the fruit and vegetables to get to Tennessee from California, or the apples that come from New Zealand, or the berries from Chile.
So back to the recipe. The original recipe can be found here at Epicurious. I made slight modifications.
Pasta with Broccoli, Chickpeas, and Garlic
6 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
1 bunch of broccoli, stems thinly slice, florets separated
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 lb pasta (of your choice)
Accompaniments: finely grated parmesan; lemon wedges (optional)
Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add broccoli and salt and saute until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. If you’d like your broccoli more tender (I like mine really crisp), you can add a few tablespoons of chicken stock, cover and steam for about 3 more minutes. Stir in chickpeas and cook until heated through.
Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta and reserved cooking water to broccoli and chickpeas in skillet and cook over moderate heat, tossing, until combined well. Serve drizzled with additional olive oil, fresh parmesan cheese and a lemon wedge.