When I came across the recipe for this pasta it sounded like something we would really like. What I really did not like was the amount of oil in the recipe so I worked on slimming that down. I have a link to the original recipe with my adaptation below in case you’d like to use a lot of oil.
I like to use whole grain pasta and I have not been able to find orecchiette in that form so I went with penne. As you can see by the number of chickpeas, I used a whole can instead of a cup. It’s a little too much. Also another way to do the chickpeas would be to roast them. My chickpeas ended up not being crispy but they were tasty.
I think you can play around with this recipe. You can try different pastas, different greens, all chickpeas, no chickpeas. If you have no cherry tomatoes, I am sure canned tomatoes would work fine. This is one of those recipes where you really can make it your own!
Pasta with greens, mozzarella, and chickpeas
- 5 oz. whole grain penne or other pasta
- Olive oil spray
- 1 cup drained canned chickpeas, patted dry
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp coriander
- Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bunch of Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves coarsely chopped (or any greens that you prefer)
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 8 large basil leaves, torn
- Olive oil and parmesan (optional)
Put a pot of salted water on to boil.
Spray a high-sided skillet with olive oil spray. Add chickpeas and roll them around until they are brown. Slide out and season with salt, black pepper, cumin and coriander. Wipe out pan.
Add pasta to water and cook according to package instructions.
Spray the wiped out pan with olive oil spray. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook briefly until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add chard or greens and cook stirring until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
At this point the pasta should be al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water and drain the pasta then add it to the vegetable mixture. Stir together adding some of the reserved pasta water to create a little sauce. Take off the heat and add the mozzarella and basil.
Divide the pasta between two bowls and sprinkle the chickpeas over top.
Garnish with olive oil and parmesan. (Optional)