Light and refreshing, Chickpea & Kale Pasta contains no dairy OR tomato sauce (only a dab or two of tomato paste). Olive oil and seasonings allow the pan-fried chickpeas and kale to shine in this dish.
The Bean with Two Names
Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) contain a plethora of nutritional benefits. In one cup (200 grams) of chickpeas you’ll get:
- Protein – 39 grams (78% Daily Value)
- Dietary Fiber – 35 grams (140% Daily Value)
- Magnesium – 57% Daily Value
- Vitamin B-6 – 55% Daily Value
- Iron – 69% Daily Value
Chickpeas are particularly desirable in that they contain carbohydrates, protein and fiber — which means they actually fill you up while giving your body a boost of nutrients.
Such an impressive, versatile bean seems worthy of two names. Garbanzo comes from the Spanish name for the bean; while chickpea has Latin roots in the word “cicer.”
Kale the Leafy Green Giant
Kale is often associated as being a “superfood,” simply meaning it contains a slew of nutrients and vitamins essential to our diets. One cup (67 grams) of chopped kale packs quite the punch:
- Vitamin A – 206% Daily Value
- Vitamin C – 134% Daily Value
- Vitamin K – 684% Daily Value
- Magnese – 26% Daily Value
Previous iterations of kale blended in a smoothie or served as a salad may have deterred you from enjoying this leafy green powerhouse. Fortunately, this recipe serves the kale up sauteed in spices, which helps to break down its fibrous tough texture and allows it to absorb the flavors of the dish.
If this pasta recipe isn’t enough to convince you kale is not the enemy, read up on the full benefits of kale here.
One Pot Pasta — The Right Way
This Chickpea & Kale pasta is nearly a one pot meal. Sauté the kale and chickpeas in a cast iron skillet (or stainless steel pan) to cultivate the flavors and begin the simple sauce. The pasta boils in a separate pot, and is added directly to the skillet with the vegetables.
The dish comes together easily and makes enough to serve 2 people as a main course. I recommend serving with a side of mixed greens for a complete meal!
Though dairy-free, this pasta does not lack flavor. Nutritional Yeast (parmesan cheese can be used as a dairy-ful substitute) lends its cheesy flavor and chickpeas their creamy texture balanced by the brightness of lemon zest and the fresh green of kale.
Kale and Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Pasta
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 small can (15 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 2½ cups dried pasta shells, bowties or elbows
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed.
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast substitute ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 3 cups tightly packed kale, trimmed and de-ribbed
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 heaping teaspoon capers
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed.
- Zest of one small lemon.
- Peel and chop the garlic. Wash and derib the kale and roughly chop. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Zest the lemon. Set aside all ingredients until ready to use.
- Fill a pot with water for the paste. Add 2 tablespoons of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Have your pasta ready to add to the water once it boils. While waiting for the water to boil, proceed with the steps below. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron, but stainless steel also works) over medium heat coat with olive oil. Add rosemary. Sauté for 3 minutes, then add tomato paste and chopped garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add chickpeas to the pan, along with salt, pepper, kale, capers, optional hot sauce and ¼ cup water. Lower heat and cover, allowing to simmer for 10 minutes and stirring occassionally. The kale should wilt and get brighter in color.
- Add pasta to the pan with kale and chickpeas. Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast, or parmesan cheese, depending on your preference. Add lemon zest. Drizzle with olive oil and mix until well-combined.
- Serve with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if desired.