August 6, 2014 – It’s Alicia here, from Weekly Greens. Who has time for complicated meals during the week? Certainly not you (me either). Keep your pantry and fridge stocked with easy weeknight meal ingredients like pasta, beans and fresh vegetables, and you’ll be ready to produce fast, nutritious meals in no time.
This deceptively creamy pasta dish, packed with nutrient-rich broccoli and lean, plant-based protein, comes together in a flash. The starchy cooking water combines with ricotta and parmesan cheese to create the illusion of a cream sauce without the heaviness and calories of cream. If you can chop broccoli into florets and boil water (you can!), get ready to enjoy dinner in 30 minutes or less. Make it a part of your Meatless Monday roundup and don’t be surprised if you’re asked to make it again…on Tuesday!
Creamy Pasta with Broccoli and Chick Peas
1/2 pound Priano Fusilli (or any short pasta)
1 Tbsp. + 1/4 tsp. Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt, divided
1 pound broccoli crowns, cut into bite-sized florets
2 Tbsp. Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1/4 tsp. Stonemill Essentials Crushed Red Pepper, plus additional to taste
15.5 oz. Dakota’s Pride Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)
1/2 cup Priano Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Priano Shredded Parmesan Cheese, plus additional to taste
Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- Cook the fusilli according to package instructions, adding 1 Tbsp. 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.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, remaining ¼ tsp. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve with additional parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper and black pepper, to taste.
TIP: If more broccoli is desired, chop 1/2 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 Photos Courtesy of Alicia Sokol, Weekly Greens