Chickpeas with Penne and Silverbeet

Another great idea borrowed with some modification from Cuisine Magazine issue No 177 p96, with thanks again to Ginny Grant. I used penne pasta for this but any short pasta such as spirals or macaroni elbows would do as well [the original recipe specified dittellini, which is not easy to come by]. Likewise the cheese; I used pecorino in this case, but parmesan would also be excellent, or indeed would any strong, crumbly cheese.



1 red onion, peeled and chopped.

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped.

10 Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved.

4 leaves silverbeet, ribs removed and chopped finely, greens shredded.

1 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.

1 cup vegetable stock.

1 tblsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves.

¼ cup oil.

2 cups pasta.

Salt to taste.

Freshly ground black pepper.

100g grated pecorino cheese.



Prepare the vegetables. Place the onion, garlic, sprouts and silverbeet stalks in a bowl and set aside. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place in another bowl with the silverbeet greens, the stock and the rosemary. Set aside.



Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta as per the instructions on the pack [usually for about 8 minutes]. Meanwhile, set a wide, deep pan over a hot flame, add the oil and stir fry the onion mixture for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is softened. Stir in the chickpea mixture, season well with salt and pepper and add half the cheese.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the silverbeet greens are wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the pan, stirring well to combine thoroughly. Divide between 2 bowls, garnish with the remaining cheese, and serve immediately.


Serve with: Crusty fresh bread.


Serves: 2.

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