Author Notes: Pasta is what I grew up on, my food of comfort and ultimate meal. Evolving into a health conscious experimental little chef, I wanted to create a simple, balanced, and delicious meal all in one pot. This pasta dish provides a protein, grain and green in every bite! This concoction came to fruition upon striving to make my pastas richer and more balanced in flavor profile and in spectrum of nutrients. The combination of robust black olives, sweet yet acidic balsamic, and the umami* of the vegetable broth merge together beautifully. This pasta is bursting with flavor and is as great for a weeknight dinner as it is for entertaining. —ariana martz
bunches organic purple or green curly kale
cup cooked chickpeas
ounces black olive paste (you can find this prepared or you can puree your own)
cup sweet balsamic or fig vinegar
cup organic vegetable broth
packet whole grain pasta (Use farro or kamut linguine, macaroni or any fun shape of your choice. You can also easily make this gluten free with brown rice or quinoa pasta)
dashes garlic powder
splash olive oil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on a high flame.
- Remove the kale leaves from their stems. Wash and dry very well. Heat olive oil in a 12 inch sauté pan on the stove. Add the kale and sprinkle very generously with garlic powder and sauté til just wilted. Remove from pan and put aside in a bowl.
- Sauté the chickpeas with a tablespoon of black olive paste and splash of sweet balsamic vinegar. Let them roast becoming golden. Simmer and then put them aside in bowl along with the kale.
- Start preparing the sauce in your skillet by adding the vegetable broth, olive paste, optional splash of lemon juice, and remaining balsamic vinegar. Let simmer and stir.
- Boil the pasta and make sure it is VERY al dente. Transfer the cooked noodles directly from the pot, using a slotted spoon, into the sauce pan and add some pasta water. (Pasta water allows the sauce to thicken in consistency from the starch, bind to the noodles and also gives a nice subtle flavor.) Stir and let the sauce coat the pasta and absorb well. Transfer the cooked chickpeas and kale from the bowl and toss them in with the pasta in the skillet on a very low flame. (If you use brown rice pasta it must be rinsed well as it is very starchy; Do not rinse regular pasta)
- Serve and savor!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dark, Leafy Greens