Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tuesday Do-Little Dinners: Pasta with Spinach and Chickpeas in Garlic Sauce

OK, so I promised some more delicious vegetarian entrees for Tuesday Do-Little Dinners. You're in luck; today's recipe, adapted slightly from Jeanne Lemlin's Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, is sure to please. I've been making it for approximately 12 years, and it's still a favorite--tasty and relatively quick to prepare. Super garlicky! Enjoy!

Pasta with Spinach and Chickpeas in Garlic Sauce
6 servings

1 lb. penne or rotini (I use wheat pasta for more protein and fiber)
1 10-oz. bag baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced or crushed through a press
1/4 tsp. dried red hot pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, diced (substitute canned diced tomatoes if you like; you can include the juice and it works fine)
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt (recipe calls for 1/4 tsp. but since I never remember to salt the pasta water, I prefer 1/2 tsp. for a bit more flavor)
1/4 cup of the boiling pasta water
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse the spinach, then place in a large skillet with only the water that clings to the leaves (or sprinkle in a little water if your spinach is prewashed). Cover and cook over medium heat just until spinach begins to wilt (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat, drain any excess water, and set aside.

Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in large skillet and add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes. Add chickpeas and tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes. Add spinach, salt, and 1/4 cup of the boiling pasta water. Cook until fully heated through, about 3 more minutes.

When pasta is done, drain and return to pot or place in a large serving bowl. Top with the sauce and stir to combine. Add cheese and stir again. (Occasionally I like to throw in some green olives too. Yum!)


Mnmom said...

That sounds great! We love our garlic, pasta, and spinach at our house. To have all three in one dish is divine!

Rob Hardy said...

I'm making this tonight! Seriously. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Rob Hardy said...

It's a winner! (I didn't add any of the pasta cooking water to the sauce; I just used canned diced tomatoes and their juice, and didn't drain the spinach after it cooked. That was plenty of liquid.)

Shan said...

Rob, I kind of suspected as much if you use canned tomatoes with their juice. I've still added the pasta water but mainly that's b/c I often cook ahead of time and pasta always needs more liquid if it's reheated later on. Glad you liked the recipe!