Linguine with kale and chickpeas might sound a little boring, but believe me, it's not. Bolstered by a gentle dose of garlic, red pepper flakes, and pecorino romano, this combination transforms from simple, even staid, to something you'd want to eat even if it weren't packed full of virtuous greens and beans. Moreover, the whole lot comes together in less than 30 minutes and can feed a crowd (or fill your lunch box throughout the week). Need I say more?
Whole wheat or farro linguine is called for in the original recipe; our market had neither in stock, so we substituted regular linguine.
- 12 ounces kale, trimmed
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 cups drained cooked chickpeas, or drained canned chickpeas
- 1 pound linguine
- 1/2 cup pecorino romano, freshly grated
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the kale with a slotted spoon or tongs, and reserve the cooking water to cook the pasta. Let the kale cool, then chop it into small pieces.
- In a deep skillet large enough to hold all the ingredients, cook the garlic and red pepper in the oil over medium heat for 1 minute, or until the garlic is golden. Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the kale and a pinch of salt, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Cook for 10 minutes more, or until the kale is tender. Add a little of the cooking water if the sauce seems dry.
- Meanwhile, return the vegetable cooking water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir well, and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain.
- Add the pasta to the chickpeas and the kale, turn the heat up to high, and toss well. Add the cheese and toss again.
- Serve immediately, drizzled with a little extra-virgin olive oil.
- Pasta, Main Dishes
- 6-8 servings