A few weeks ago I heard a lot of people on The Nest talking about the new Food Network magazine and I instantly became intrigued. Thankfully, that weekend Nate and I went to a book store that weekend and what did my wandering eyes spot but the new Food Network magazine. I had to buy it! I couldn’t resist. Sadly, Nate and I have opted to have basic cable (read boring and lots of shopping channels and local government channels!) to save some money. As you probably figured out, basic boring cable does not include such luxuries as the Food Network, so I watch it when I go visit my mom or when I run on the treadmill in the small gym that our apartment complex has on campus. So, by buying this magazine I guess I got my fix of the Food Network even though I hardly knew some of the contributors!
If you haven’t picked up the magazine, I strongly suggest you do! I’m going to subscribe to it, but maybe I should wait in case someone gets me a subscription for my birthday this month (Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink!). The pumpkin pie on the front is reason enough to buy the magazine, I think!
After perusing the magazine for a first look I was quite overwhelmed with all the recipe choices. I looked again a few days later when I was doing my menu planning for the week and decided this recipe would be a good first choice. I have another recipe that I’m going to try later this week from the magazine so be patient.
Without further ado, on to the recipe! Enjoy! I must quickly apologize for the picture of the meal in the pot but I forgot to take it’s picture when I was half way through with my serving. Oops!
Whole-Grain Pasta with Chickpeas and Escarole
source: Food Network Magazine
- 2 cups whole-grain penne (I used a whole box)
- 1 head escarole, roughly chopped (I omitted)
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup capers, drained and patted dry (optional)
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed slightly,
- liquid reserved
- 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Cook the pasta according to the package directions; add the escarole during the last 2 minutes, cover and do not stir. Remove the escarole with tongs; set aside. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Meanwhile, if you’re using capers, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the capers and fry until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Cook the garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes until the garlic toasts slightly, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, a pinch of salt and the bay leaves. Cook until the tomatoes and chickpeas brown, about 6 minutes. Add the escarole and reserved tomato juice and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 4 more minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the sauce; season with salt and pepper. (If the sauce is thick, add some reserved pasta water.) Stir in the cheese and top with fried capers, if using, and more cheese.