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Food Network Recipe For Whole Grain Pasta With Chickpeas & Escarole

Sunday Dinner: Whole Grain Pasta With Chickpeas & Escarole

For supper this evening, make friends with another penne dish that's not all carbs and cheese. This one calls for the exotic yet accessible leafy green known as escarole, which lends a mild bitterness, a resilient crunch, and a bright flavor to the pasta.

With whole-grain pasta and hearty, filling chickpeas, there's no need to bring meat into this meal at all, which is good for your wallet, your waistline, and your carbon footprint. Wishing it were dinnertime already? For the recipe, read more.

Whole Grain Pasta With Chickpeas and Escarole

Whole Grain Pasta With Chickpeas and Escarole

Fast & Easy Recipe for Whole Wheat Pasta With Chickpeas and Escarole


2 cups whole-grain penne
1 head escarole, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
1/4 cup capers, drained and patted dry (optional)
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed slightly, liquid reserved
1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; add the escarole during the last 2 minutes, cover and do not stir. Remove the escarole with tongs; set aside. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Meanwhile, if you're using capers, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the capers and fry until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  2. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Cook the garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes until the garlic toasts slightly, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, a pinch of salt and the bay leaves. Cook until the tomatoes and chickpeas brown, about 6 minutes. Add the escarole and reserved tomato juice and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 4 more minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  3. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the sauce; season with salt and pepper. (If the sauce is thick, add some reserved pasta water.) Stir in the cheese and top with fried capers, if using, and more cheese.

Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 540; Total Fat 19 g; (Sat Fat 4 g, Mono Fat 11 g, Poly Fat 2.6 g); Protein 21 g; Carb 79 g; Fiber 15 g; Cholesterol 9 mg; Sodium 800 mg

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