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Chickpeas with Pasta and Broccoli

Beans and pasta are a tradition in Italian cuisine. In this dish, we combine pasta with cooked chickpeas and bright green broccoli to create a main course that is anti-oxidant rich, loaded with fiber and delicious. 


1/2 cup pine nuts 
extra virgin olive oil 
1 red onion, thin half moon slices 
soy sauce 
1-2 yellow summer squash, split lengthwise, 1/8-inch half moon slices 
1 carrot, fine matchstick pieces 
1 small bundle asparagus, tips removed, 1-inch lengths 
2-3 stalks broccoli, small florets, stems peeled, sliced 
1/2 cup corn kernels 
1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas 
grated zest of 1 lemon 
mirin or white wine
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil 
8 ounces whole grain noodles (penne, shells, udon, soba or somen) 
a few fresh basil sprigs, for garnish 

Heat a dry skillet and lightly pan toast pine nuts over medium heat until fragrant. Be attentive here and keep stirring the nuts, as they will burn easily. Heat a small amount of oil in a deep skillet. Saute red onion, with a splash of soy sauce, until limp, 1-2 minutes. Add summer squash, a splash of soy sauce and saute until shiny with oil. Add carrot, a splash of soy sauce and stir in. Add asparagus pieces and broccoli florets, stir in corn and chickpeas, lemon rind and season lightly with soy sauce and a generous splash of mirin. Cover and cook over low heat just until the broccoli and asparagus are bright green and just tender. 

While cooking the vegetables, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta al dente, 8-12 minutes, depending on the cut of pasta you are using. Drain the pasta and do not rinse (unless you are using Japanese noodles; they are coated with salt and require rinsing for the best flavor). Stir in cooked vegetables, plus any remaining cooking liquid. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately, garnished with sprigs of fresh parsley. 

Makes 4-6 servings.  


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