This quick and nourishing year-round pasta recipe calls for chard, kale, or spinach, but you can use a combination or even substitute broccoli rabe or mustard greens. My personal favorite in this dish is chard, as it’s so good in the Italian-style trio of pasta with greens and legumes. Just add a colorful salad and you’ve got a meal. Recipe from Wild About Greens* by Nava Atlas.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 10 to 12 ounces rotini, rotelle, or cavatappi
(spiral pasta, see note)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 10 to 12 ounces chard, kale, or spinach, any variety
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
- 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup sliced pitted oil-cured olives (such as Kalamata)
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, optional
Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
If using any variety of chard, cut the leaves away from the stems and chop coarsely or cut into ribbons. If you plan on using the stems from chard, trim an inch or so away from the bottom, then slice thinly. If using kale, strip the leaves from the stems, and cut into narrow ribbons or small bite-size pieces. Thinly slice the stems if you plan to use them, otherwise, discard. Stem larger spinach leaves and chop coarsely; if using baby spinach, use the leaves whole.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and bell pepper and sauté over medium heat until the garlic is lightly golden and the bell pepper softens, about 3 minutes.
Add the greens and stir in quickly to coat with the oil. If using spinach, cover and let it wilt for 30 seconds or so. If using kale or chard, add a couple tablespoons of water, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, just until wilted and bright green.
Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, and oregano. Stir together and cook, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until everything is heated through.
Combine the mixture from the skillet with the pasta in the serving bowl and toss together. Toss with the skillet mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and optional red pepper flakes. Sprinkle optional pine nuts over the pasta, and serve.
Note: In this dish, I used a spelt rotini, but you can use any kind of short twisty pasta, and of course go for a gluten-free variety if that’s your preference.
- Here are more recipes for hardy greens.
- Here are more hearty vegan pasta recipes.
- Find more of VegKitchen’s Vegan Dinner Recipes and Pasta Entrées.
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