Well, life is funny. The weather cooled down to 88 degrees, and I woke up with a very sore throat this weekend. Yes, I have a summer cold, which is always delightful. I'm going to look on the bright side and reflect on how much worse it would be having a cold when the weather temperature is 117 degrees. Besides having a cold, my pantry was almost empty. Bob was off kayaking, and that meant I would be the one running to the grocery store to get provisions. Instead, I decided to stay home and make something with the few things available to me. I always have some type of pasta, refuse to run out of that. I also had canned chickpeas and arugula, and other odds and ends. The result was an adaption of a Deborah Madison recipe. I know that some people find the thought of pasta and legumes rather odd. I was 8 years old the first time I ever had that combination. A friend of my mother was Italian and she invited us to dinner. To my horror, she served us a dish made with pasta and lentils. I had never heard of such a thing. To me, spaghetti and meatballs was sacrosanct, and the only acceptable way to eat pasta. Actually, I doubt I'd ever heard the word "pasta" then. I didn't want to embarrass my mother, so I bravely ate the pasta and lentils--and hated it! However, I've since developed a great love of pasta and legumes. They are perfect together.
Deborah Madison's original recipe called for medium sized pasta shells, which would cup the delicious broth nicely. But, I only had linguine and it worked just fine. I also substituted arugula for the spinach in the recipe, which gave a little tang to the dish. I think you could add any kind of greens to the dish. The result was a very satisfying and it took only 11 minutes to make. It could have taken less time, but that was the amount of time needed for cooking the linguine. Bob and I both loved eating this dish. Even though this was a pantry scrounged meal, it was delicious and I wouldn't hesitate to serve it again.
Linguine With Chickpeas And Arugula (Adapted from Deborah Madison)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion or 4 shallots
1 large clove garlic
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 carrot, finely diced
2 Tablespoons, finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon sun dried tomatoes, pureed, or 2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, with their liquid, or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas and their liquid
About 3 cups of arugula or 1 bunch spinach, chopped and washed
8 -16 ounces linguine (or medium pasta shells)
freshly ground pepper
additional olive oil
freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan and add the shallots or onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, carrot,and parsley. Saute for 2 minutes. Season with salt, and add the tomato puree or paste, chickpeas, spinach, and a cup of stock, or cooking liquid from the chickpeas. Lower heat and simmer around 3 minutes while the pasta is cooking.
Bring water to boil for the pasta, add salt to taste and cook pasta until al dente. If the chickpeas need more liquid, add some pasta water. Drain the pasta and add to the chickpeas, toss well and add pepper. Serve and drizzle with olive oil and parmesan cheese