Tuscan Kale and Chickpea Pasta

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on October 18, 2010

Pasta e fagioli or pasta with beans is a traditional Italian dish. It is usually made with pasta and cannellini or white beans in a tomato sauce. I took inspiration from the pasta+bean concept and turned it into a hearty main dish of pasta, chickpeas and wilted kale.

The easiest way to wilt the kale for this dish is to dunk it into the pasta cooking water just before you are ready to drain the pasta. Then drain the pasta and kale together. Add any kind of fresh greens you like. Vegans can simply leave out the parmesan in this dish.

This goes to Presto Pasta Nights hosted by the lovely Claire of Chez Cayenne.

Tuscan Kale and Chickpea Pasta

serves 4-6

One 14 oz box of whole grain pasta (I used Barilla whole grain rotini)
12 large leaves Tuscan kale or any other variety of Kale, about 2 cups when shredded

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
Crushed red peppers, to taste
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons bottled, pickled capers + 2 tablespoons caper juice      
2 cups of drained, rinsed, canned chickpeas
1/4th cup dry white wine, optional
1/2 cup water
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

In a large pot, bring plenty of water to boil. Generously salt the water. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the pasta, and cook till pasta is al dente. Make sure pasta doesn’t over-cook.

While pasta is cooking, rinse the kale, and remove the tough ribs. Stack the kale leaves, roll up the stack, and cut into thin shreds. Set shredded kale aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook on medium heat till the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Then add crushed red pepper, and garlic. Cook 30 seconds. Add capers, caper juice from the bottle, chickpeas and white wine, if using. Let the mixture boil.

When most the wine has evaporated, add the water. Cook on medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, while mashing some of the chickpeas. Add more water for a thinner sauce.  Stir in parmesan and turn off heat. Taste and add salt if needed. You may not need salt for this sauce because the capers and the parmesan are quite salty.

When the pasta is almost done, dunk the shredded kale into the pasta pot. Let the pasta and kale boil for about 10 seconds. Drain the pasta and kale.

Toss the drained pasta and kale with the chickpea mixture. Serve immediately with extra parmesan for sprinkling.

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Comments

comments

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Claire October 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

This looks wonderful, and you’ve taken beautiful photographs, as always. Thanks for sending this to Presto Pasta Nights!

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2 Sandhya@vegetarianirvana October 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Hi Sala
I am new to blogging but blogs like yours was what made me want to blog. Thought I’d drop by and say thanks for such a great eye catching blog and your recipes are so interesting and relatable.
Loved your pumpkin halwa recipe which I never thought could be interesting.

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3 Jennifer October 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm

This looks fantastic and healthy too. I will have to make this next time my boyfriend is away as he isn’t keen on chickpeas or capers.

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4 Prerna@IndianSimmer October 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I always hunt for pasta recipe and this one goes straight to my bookmarked pages list :-)

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5 Rosa October 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

A beautiful pasta dish!

Cheers,

Rosa

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6 Sharmilee October 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Pasta and channa what a awesome combination…looks healthy n tasty. Lovely clicks as usual

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7 nandini.p October 19, 2010 at 5:56 am

Love both pasta and chikpeas. Never tried this combination before. I like the plate.

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8 Nicole October 19, 2010 at 6:47 am

A few of my favorite things! looks like a great weeknight dinner. Thanks!

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9 notyet100 October 19, 2010 at 6:47 am

perfect bowl,..healthy nd yummy,.

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10 Astrid October 19, 2010 at 6:48 am

Excellent! Tuesday means pasta at our house for dinner and this will be dinner. Great inspiration. Thank you.

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11 Happy Cook October 19, 2010 at 6:48 am

I have never use Kale even though i have seen so much recipes in books. Once i should try to see what the taste is. Pasta looks really healthy delicous.

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12 Viswa October 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm

amazing picture

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13 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets October 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I love kale and chickpeas, but never tried them together before. So simple and health. Love it!

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14 Claudia October 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm

This dish sounds perfect to use the kale I get from our CSA. Sometimes I run out of ideas for it. And, very balanced as well.

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15 girlichef October 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Wow! I saw your dish at the PPN roundup and get scrolling back up to see it some more…it sounds and looks fabulous! Tuscan kale is a favorite of mine and this has made it to my “must try” list!

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16 Ruth October 28, 2010 at 5:43 am

One word – FANTABULOUS!!! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. So easy, so awesome, so healthy.

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17 Pam @ Kitchen Cookware November 3, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Sala,

This recipe with kale and chickpea pasta is simply delicious, easy and quick to make. Your pictures are so beautiful!

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18 Cindy Conrad December 24, 2010 at 3:17 am

amazing picture

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19 Jenny Holm June 20, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Made this tonight for the week’s lunches (maybe too hot for it, but I had all the ingredients and it sounded so good!) It tastes phenomenal and I can’t wait to eat a full serving of it tomorrow!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

glad you liked it jenny!

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20 Kayla February 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Just made this for dinner tonight… so delicous! Thank you for the recipe :)

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21 Disha March 1, 2013 at 11:46 am

My quest for the delicious well balanced pasta has ended!
LOVED. IT.

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