Friday, October 12, 2012

Farm Fridays: Pasta and Chickpeas with Parsley, Garlic and Lemon

Today has been crazy hectic, what with my farm pick-up, grocery shopping, errands and our garage sale tomorrow. I've decided to forgo delighting you with a picture of my CSA share. Sorry about that.

Let it be known, though, that fall vegetables are in the house! I got a gorgeous bunch of carrots, a huge celery root with stems and leaves attached (a little too pungent for eating, in my opinion, but I'm going to dry the leaves and use them like an herb!), and a vibrant orange-red winter squash. The fall lettuce is looking gorgeous as well. And as if that weren't enough, I picked up an enormous cauliflower at the farmers market. I just couldn't resist.

What I have for you today is the perfect, healthy, quick dish for a hectic day: whole wheat pasta and chickpeas with delicious fresh parsley, garlic and lemon. The farm is overflowing with parsley right now and this is a great way to use a lot of it at once. Besides being pretty and green and fresh-tasting, parsley is full of antioxidants (most herbs are) and vitamins to help stave off fall head colds (I know I always get mine when the temperature drops, and it's going to drop tonight!). The whole dish comes together in less than half an hour, including chopping, so there's still plenty of time to make a batch for dinner tonight!

Pasta and Chickpeas with Parsley, Garlic and Lemon
Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 c cooked chickpeas (a 15 oz can will do)
two big handfuls flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 cloves garlic
small sprig sage
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 lb whole wheat pasta shells
shredded Pecorino-Romano, for serving

Combine the parsley, garlic, sage and lemon zest in a small food processor and mince. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and red pepper flakes and cook 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, and a third of the herb mixture to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook until heated through.

When the pasta is finished, drain it in a colander and then return it to the pot. Add the chickpea mixture and the rest of the herb mixture and stir well to combine. Top with shredded cheese to serve.

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