Thursday, March 26, 2015

A simple spring pasta

Here is a dish that is a new favorite in our house, a simple spring pasta with marinated chickpeas and mozzarella, with wilted greens stirred in at the end. 

The recipe comes from Mollie Katzen via Serious Eats. I found it on my "Spring" Pinterest board, though honestly I'm not sure how it got there. (Yes, I do still use Pinterest quite a lot for menu planning.)

You really can't go wrong with Mollie Katzen, and this dish is a winning combination of very flavorful and dead easy -- accommodating of busy schedules, too. First you marinate a can of drained chickpeas and cubes of fresh mozzarella in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and some dried herbs. (This takes me no longer than 10 minutes to pull together, people!) The original recipe says to let it sit for an hour or two at room temperature, but I think you could also assemble this part of the dish in the morning and then stick it in the refrigerator until dinnertime.

In the evening, you just boil some pasta, then dump the whole marinade shebang into the drained noodles. Stir in some arugula (it will wilt a bit with the heat of the pasta) and grated Parmesan cheese, and dinner is served.

I made this twice with arugula, and then wondered how it would be with Tuscan kale instead. The answer, of course, is excellent. And equally easy: just throw some roughly chopped kale (be generous; I'd say at least 6 to 8 cups) into the pasta water for the last minute or two of cooking, to blanch it. Drain along with the pasta and proceed as usual.

In fact I think the kale version of the dish has an edge, as it makes better leftovers (reheated wilted arugula is not my favorite).

I recommend using Pipe Regate for the pasta, as pictured in the photo at the top of this post; the chickpeas nestle nicely in the hollows of the noodles. Sounds like an obscure pasta shape, but I found mine at Whole Foods, and organic to boot.

My husband is agitating for the addition of red pepper flakes, which I am confident is a good idea, and plan to try it next time I make the dish, which I am confident will be soon.

Linking up with Anne's Pin to Present feature today, a very worthwhile challenge to actually do something with all that inspiration I collect online.

Original source: Pasta Shells with Chickpeas and Arugula, Serious Eats


  1. Another dish that looks fantastic - thanks for posting it; I'm always looking for quick and easy suppers!

    And reading about your use of Pinterest in meal planning reminds me to look into opening a Pinterest account. I had had the thought (quite a while ago now) that it would be fun to open and share a Pinterest account with my daughter - this way we could both pin recipes and make plans for trying new meals when she's home from university. I'm going to look into doing that...hopefully it's possible! (Says the woman who just got Facebook!)

    1. Thanks, Marian, I'm glad this looks good to you! If I can add to someone's arsenal of quick and easy suppers I've definitely done a good deed for the day.

      What a great idea to collaborate with your daughter in pinning recipes! That sounds totally feasible to me. You could either share a Pinterest account, or -- if you don't want her endless pins of crocheted infinity scarf patterns to take over your account ;-) -- you could each open an account, and create a board then invite her to pin to it (totally easy to do, I promise!).

  2. This looks/sounds really good - my husband would be all for the red pepper flakes too though. Thanks for sharing! Nice to see how other people continue to use Pinterest for meal planning too :)

    1. Thanks, Anne. Nope, can't argue with red pepper flakes, I guess our guys know a good thing when they see one. And yes, I enjoy seeing the different ways people use Pinterest, it always gives me new ideas! Thanks so much for organizing the linkup.