Weekday Vegetarian: Pasta with Garlic, Chickpeas and Braised Kale

Weekday Vegetarian: Pasta with Garlic, Chickpeas and Braised KalePhoto: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

It has been so ridiculously mild here in Toronto, that I am still harvesting kale from my backyard - in January. Not only that, it is actively growing and I have all kinds of tender shoots on the plants that take almost no time at all to cook. I still have enough for one more good meal, unless of course the temperature remains warm, in which case I'll be cooking with kale a lot over the next week or two.

There are plenty of people here who are ecstatic about how warm it is, but there are also lots of us who think it is worrisome. Despite the fact that we generally have a temperate spring and fall and quite hot summers, I still think of myself as a child of ice and snow. I'm waiting for the first big joyous snowfall. Well, at this point, even a small snowfall would do.

This recipe is from Spilling the Beans by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan

Pasta with Garlic, Chickpeas and Braised Kale

Uncooked spaghetti, or other pasta shape
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups cooked chickpeas or one 19 oz can, rinsed and well drained
1 garlic bult, cloves peeled and chopped
1large bunch of kale
Juice of half a lemon
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put a big pot of water on to boil, and cook the pasta. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onion and chickpeas for about 10 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Scoop out the chickpeas and set them aside in a bowl.

2. Meanwhile, rinse the kale, discard the tough ribs and coarsely chop or tear the leaves; add the kale to the skillet. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the pasta water, straight from the pot, and add it to the skillet. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender.

3. Drain the pasta, reserving a bit of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the kale mixture. Add the lemon juice and a few spoonfuls of the reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine. Add the chickpeas and a handful of Parmesan cheese and toss until well combined - add more cooking liquid if you like it saucier. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Weekday Vegetarian: Pasta with Garlic, Chickpeas and Braised Kale
I'm still managing to harvest kale from my backyard garden.

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