Recipe: Pasta with Chickpeas and Greens

This is a recipe I made way back in August after being given a big bunch of broad bean leaves  – I didn’t even know they were edible.  It’s a nice, simple, wholesome dinner recipe, good for Boxing Day, when you just want something plain and not too rich and reasonably healthy to eat.

You can use any greens you have in the garden – wild greens, tromboncino zucchini greens, Warrigal greens, silverbeet – whatever.  Or you can use supermarket greens.  120g is a standard packet size for a lot of things like rocket and baby spinach.  Just get a good mix – 2-3 big bunches worth – chop them roughly and off you go.


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olive oil
4 garlic cloves (I mean it!)
1 tbsp chilli flakes (I mean that, too!)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp italian herbs (or just oregano)
salt, pepper
120 g baby kale
120 g baby spinach
1 bunch broad bean leaves
400 g chickpeas, tinned (drain and use the water for meringues!)
300 g pasta
80 g pine nuts
parmesan to serve

Now what will you do with it?

Put water on to boil for the pasta in a big pot.

Roughly chop the greens, and mince or crush the garlic.

In a large skillet, heat the oil.  Add the garlic, chilli, cumin, herbs, salt, pepper and kale, and sauté until the kale starts to soften.  This won’t take long.  Add the broad bean leaves and sauté some more, then add the spinach leaves and pine nuts, and cook until the spinach is bright green and wilted and the pine nuts are getting golden in places.  Stir in the chickpeas, and leave over a low heat to stay warm.


Cook the pasta until al dente, then add to the greens with a good grating of parmesan, toss together and serve.



This recipe is gluten-free with the right pasta, egg-free, low GI, and dairy-free if you skip the parmesan (I like it with parmesan on top, because I am Italian and I think that everything is better with parmesan on top, but it is not an absolute requirement).  Without parmesan it is, of course, vegan.

Instead of parmesan, you could toast up the pine nuts with some currants and almonds and capers and lemon or orange zest for a Sicilian sort of treat, or go gremolata-ish with parsley and lemon and Moar Garlic.

Or you could have it plain because, you know, it is Boxing Day, and sometimes plain is nice.


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