Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Kale and Chickpea Pasta

If my childhood self could see me now, he'd shake his head ruefully and wonder what happened to my taste buds (then he'd return to a bowl of Stouffer's macaroni and cheese and savor all the brown bits along the edges, ignoring the spinach on the side). But there's no denying the fact that my adult self loves healthy, vitamin-rich winter greens, especially kale. On the healthy-green scale, it's not as good as spinach. But when I cook kale with sliced garlic, fruity olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice to finish, I'm in heaven. The flavor is bracingly simple and restorative.

Since winter greens paradoxically first become available in August, when the deep, warm, braised flavor isn't always what I'm after, I worked the kale into a lighter pasta. The technique is the same—a slow braise with olive oil and the moisture that clings to the leaves from washing—and I took a cue from a post on Orangette to add chickpeas for a bit of protein. Toasted pine nuts scattered on top, with a bit of grated Parmesan, and dinner was served.

Kale and Chickpea Pasta

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After spending a year in Estonia, he now lives in Chicago.

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