Ditalini With Tender Herbs, Chickpeas & Yogurt

November  9, 2020
6 Ratings
Author Notes

A mix of tender herbs and greens, such as dill, parsley, and spinach, melt into a base of garlic and anchovy, then simmer in broth or water until totally tender and silky—the perfect foil for creamy chickpeas and chewy pasta. Use any tender herb or green here, like those mentioned above, or Swiss chard, or celery leaves, or basil. This is the place to use up all those wilty greens in your fridge.

This one-pot pasta also has a trick up its sleeve: The pasta is soaked while we prepare everything else, so it quickly cooks to al dente in the same pot as the greens. Shorter shapes, like orecchiette and macaroni, work best with this method, but if all you have are longer shapes, just snap them into one-inch pieces.

Only have hearty greens, like collards or escarole? They need a bit more simmering time and cooking liquid. Try Orecchiette With Bacony Collards & Cannellini Beans.

And read more about this greens-beans-pasta technique here, so you have the confidence to take it off-script. —Sohla El-Waylly

  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 5 ounces (1 1/2 cups) ditalini (or another short dry pasta, such as macaroni or penne)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled, and chopped
  • 6 cups roughly chopped tender herbs and/or greens (such as dill, parsley, basil, arugula, radish tops, beet tops, etc), plus a handful to serve
  • 1 (15.5-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt, plus more to serve
  • Lemon zest and juice, to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Put the pasta in a small bowl and cover with 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock or water. Stir occasionally to make sure the pasta isn’t clumping together.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium Dutch oven over medium heat and melt until foamy, about 2 minutes. Add the anchovies and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the anchovies melt into the fat and the garlic just begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the herbs and/or greens, the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock or water, and a big pinch each of salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a maintain an active simmer. Add the beans and cook, partially covered, until the liquid has reduced to about 1 cup and the greens are tender and silky, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste the greens and add more salt and pepper if needed. (You want it to be very well seasoned at this point, so the liquid and greens can season the pasta.)
  4. Add the pasta along with the soaking liquid and simmer, stirring constantly, until the pasta is al dente, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and season with lemon zest and juice to taste. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls and garnish with more yogurt.

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Sohla El-Waylly is a Food52 Resident, sharing new riffable recipes every month that'll help you get creative in the kitchen. Watch her cook on YouTube in her new series, Off-Script With Sohla. Before she started developing fun recipes for home cooks, she worked as a chef in N.Y.C. and L.A., briefly owning a restaurant in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow chef, Ham El-Waylly. She lives in the East Village with Ham, their two dogs, and cat. Find out what else she's up to on Instagram @sohlae.