Lemony Broccoli and Chickpea Pasta


I think one of the simplest and most pleasurable flavor combinations is olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper over pasta. Just seeing those ingredients triggers me like one of Pavlov's dogs. Of course, I naturally flitted to this recipe, which uses the holy trinity, as well as lemon juice, broccoli, and parmesan. How can you lose?

You can't. It's great.

Meyer's Lemony Broccoli and Chickpea Rigatoni (from Food & Wine)
-1 (19 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
-3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (**NOTE: I thought this was excessive. I used 1/4 cup in Step 1, then used about two quick swirls of oil in the skillet. I added a little extra lemon juice later on.**)
-Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
-1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
-1 pound rigatoni (or whatever pasta you want)
-5 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
-1 cup grated parmesan

1. In a medium bowl, toss the chickpeas with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a colander and rinse under cold water until cool. Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and cook until al dente. (**NOTE: Below, you will see instructions to cook the broccoli for another 5 minutes. I really felt like the 4 minutes of boiling was sufficient to get my broccoli cooked to perfection. If it was cooked another 5 minutes, it would have been mushy. If you like your broccoli mushy, then more power to you--cook it another 5 minutes.**)

3. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is golden, about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpea mixture and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute.

4. Drain the rigatoni, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the broccoli and chickpeas along with the reserved cooking water and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the rigatoni is coated with sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the pasta to a bowl, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.

-Serves at least 4, possibly 6.


~Lisa~ said...

I love this dish. So healthy and light. Plus I love broccoli and chickpeas.

Debbie B. said...

I agree! I love simple flavors and there is something about olive oil and garlic. For some reason the sauteing onions in a little butter always smells like a million bucks.

baking.serendipity said...

This looks delicious! I love olive oil and pasta, it's so light and accents the pasta additions perfectly.

5 Star Foodie said...

Love the lemony flavor and the addition of chickpeas here!

roxan said...

Yum, simply delicious. sometimes it's the most 'basic' ingredients that work perfectly together to make a lovely dish.

Gourmande said...

That's a nice dish. Usually I find chick peas plus pasta is a little heavy, but here the broccoli restore the balance.
I'll try it. Thanks for the idea !

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

YUM! This will make a delicious lunch for myself and the kiddo. She loves broccoli :) Thanks for the great recipe!

Angie's Recipes said...

You said pasta with chickpeas? Could I have two servings? I just love them.

Rick said...

Nice and healthy!


Healthy and delicious! I can see why it's a favorite!

morningerection said...

This looks delicious. President Bush is crazy - broccoli is great. It's one of my favorite veggies and this looks like an easy and tasty recipe. Thanks, this one is a keeper.

Simply Life said...

Looks like a great pasta dish!

Monet said...

Isn't it amazing how great simplicity can taste? I agree that there isn't much better than pasta, olive oil, and a bit of pepper. I'm a huge broccoli fan though, so this recipe made me smile even more. I can see myself eating this tomorrow night!

Lisa said...

Yum, I love healthy quick dishes.

Beth said...

It looks delicious, and not too difficult. I'll have to try it out!

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