Creamy Pasta with Broccoli and Chick Peas…

Creamy Pasta with Broccoli and Chick Peas

This vegetarian pasta dish gives the illusion of a cream sauce without the heaviness and calories. A hefty serving of nutrient-rich greens, fiber and protein make it a one-dish meal.

Directions:                   

  1. Cook the fusilli according to package instructions, adding 1 tablespoon of salt to boiling water. During the last two minutes of cook time, add the broccoli. Before draining, remove 1 cup of cooking water; reserve. Drain fusilli and broccoli.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and crushed red pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chick peas and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the ricotta and parmesan cheese with 3 tablespoons of reserved cooking water. Add more water by the tablespoon, as necessary, to create a creamy sauce.
  4. Return the skillet with chick peas to the stove over medium heat. Add the fusilli and broccoli. Fold in the cheese mixture, stirring gently. Add more reserved water to loosen the mixture, as needed.
  5. Serve with additional parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper and black pepper, to taste.

TIP: If more broccoli is desired, chop ½ of the broccoli stalks into bite-sized pieces, cook along with the florets. The starchy pasta cooking water is the secret to creating the silky sauce, so don't forget to set aside before draining.   

Recipe and Photo Courtesy of Alicia Sokol, Weekly Greens