This Pasta with Broccoli Rabe, Chickpeas and Lemon has fast become a weekday favorite. It’s zingy from the lemon and “meaty” from the chickpeas and very quick and easy to whip up. Of course leafy greens should be the cornerstone of our diets, full of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals they protect us from a host of horrible diseases. Broccoli rabe is a star of the vegetable world, really anything from the cruciferous family is a star as far as the cells of your body are concerned. The trick is to make them so delicious that they’re a joy to include in your diet instead of a drag. In my world vegan food not only has to be good for you but it has to taste wonderful as well.
This lovely dish ticks all the boxes. Roasting the chickpeas lends a deliciously smokey flavor after a quick blast in the oven gently dusted with cumin. I like to saute the red onion until it cooks down almost to an onion jam so that you’re left with a deep satisfying sweetness. Although there aren’t that many ingredients in the recipe each one does it’s job, beautifully contributing to a richly favored seductive dish.Print
Pasta with Broccoli Rabe, Chickpeas and Lemon
This Pasta with Broccoli Rabe, Chickpeas and Lemon is a comforting and satisfying quick fix supper.
1 head of broccoli rabe, trimmed
1 box, best quality orecchiette pasta
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 cup white wine
Zest and juice of 1 – 2 lemons (depending of the size of the lemons – the organic ones can be on the same side)
1, 15oz can chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Fresh parsley for serving
Pre heat the oven to 400F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Drain and thoroughly rinse the chickpeas. Dry them in a clean dish cloth, the skins will likely come off during this process which is great. Place the chickpeas on the baking tray, drizzle lightly with oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and dust with cumin, place in the hot oven. Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, add the chopped onion and sprinkle lightly with salt. Allow to cook on a low heat until the onion has caramelized and become almost jam like. This can take time, about 20-25 minutes but it’s worth the wait. Just keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t burn. After about 15 minutes or so add the garlic, the fennel seeds and a pinch of red pepper flakes. If you like things hot, add a few more.
When the onion mixture looks jammy, turn up the heat and add the wine. Allow it to bubble away for 2 minutes or so.
Meanwhile heat a large pot of water and bring to the boil. Trim the broccoli rabe. When the water is boiling add the broccoli and cook until it’s tender but still with a little bite to it. Scoop it out with some long tongs and place in a serving dish, drizzle over a little oil.
Place the pasta in the cooking water and cook according to the package directions. When al dente drain (reserving 1/2 cup of the water) add the pasta to the broccoli rabe, add the onion mixture. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the pasta and sprinkle over the zest. Add the chickpeas and stir. If the mixture is too dry add the cooking water.
Sprinkle over some fresh parsley, and vegan Parmasan to serve.