Whole Wheat Pasta with Chickpeas and Spinach
You can make this delicious whole wheat pasta with chickpeas and spinach in a cinch. It makes a perfect, balanced lunch, and nutritious, filling dinner.
Friends, you are in for a delicious dinner -or lunch if you’re feeling fancy!- that will satisfy all your cravings! We have the good kind of carbs, the nutritious and flavorful spinach, and the meaty chickpeas packed with protein.
I probably had this pasta dish too many times in the last few weeks. Last time I made it was on Good Friday, the last Friday of Lent. I was ravenous, and since we do not eat meat on Fridays during Lent, I am always in search of good protein-packed dishes. This one fits the bill.
When I made it just for me, these portions yielded one big plate that I ended up sharing with my 7-year-old. I can’t believe he approved! I adjusted the recipe card to prepare 4 to 6 servings.
Start by cooking the pasta according to package directions. I like to add salt to the pasta water, and for this dish, it’s highly recommended. You’ll see why!
This dish starts like every other Italian dish made in my home: sauteeing minced onions and garlic. This aroma makes me happy. How about you?
I like to add the onions first, wait a minute, and then add the garlic. Since the garlic cooks faster, you may want to keep the heat in medium-low so you don’t burn it. Golden garlic is delicious, though! Mine always tend to be on the golden side.
Once the onion and garlic are tender, add the (previously defrosted) chopped spinach. I like to use frozen chopped spinach, not only for the ease of use but because the added water makes a good sauce! So make sure to drain the defrosted spinach but do not squeeze out the juice. You want that juice for your sauce.
Add drained and rinsed chickpeas and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. I add garlic powder to almost everything. Everything tastes better with garlic.
Now, here’s the trick: while your pasta is still boiling, scoop a ladle of starchy pasta water…
and add that ladle to your sauteed vegetables…
This is a trick my mom taught me early in life whenever we’re making pasta with something different than tomato sauce. The salted, starchy water, adds flavor and consistency to some pairings like this one. I use this method also when I make Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage, or Pasta with Ham and Peas.
As soon as you pour the water on the skillet, put a lid on and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. If you think you need more water or olive oil, go for it, it’s a matter of taste!
Once the pasta is ready, drain, and serve spinach and chickpeas mixture over it. Garnish with freshly shaved parmesan cheese and if you’d like, freshly ground black pepper brings this dish to a new level!
Pasta with Chickpeas and Spinach – Recipe Card