Friday, September 23, 2011

Penne with Broccoli in Garlic Chickpea Sauce

This is another recipe in my quest for cheap & easy meal preparation.

The ingredients list is short and pretty affordable. Most of this stuff I have on hand anyway.

This is a snap to throw together and it's actually pretty good for you. 

Don't be put off by the "chickpea sauce". It's a clever little way to make a creamy sauce without much (if any) fat.

Penne with Broccoli in Garlic Chickpea Sauce

Adapted from here and here

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (15.5oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 cup (8oz) chicken broth
8oz uncooked penne pasta (I used whole wheat)
8oz broccoli florets
2 teaspoons lemon juice
pepper to taste
shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (to serve)


Begin by prepping your broccoli and getting a pot of water on the boil.

If you haven't ever thought of it, cutting broccoli off the head with a pair of scissors is infinitely easier and faster than doing it with a knife.

Go ahead and get your garlic chopped up too. You don't have to go too fine on this one, it'll be buzzed in the food processor in a bit.

Get a medium saucepan on medium heat and add your oil. Let it come up to temp and then add your garlic.

Cook for maybe 30 seconds. Don't burn it, but you want to really smell it. Like burning your nostrils smell it.

Toss in the (drained) chickpeas.

Salt, red pepper.

Chicken broth.

Bring this to a boil and drop the heat to low and cover.

Let it simmer for 15 minutes.

While that is going, your water should have come to a boil and hopefully you added your pasta.

In the last minute of cooking the pasta, toss in the broccoli. 

Cover to let the pot recover and let it cook for the final minute. 

We're looking to blanch the broccoli, not get it too soggy.

When it's finished, drain everything and put it back in the pot from whence it came (off the heat).

Your chickpeas should be done simmering now. They shouldn't have lost a ton of liquid. 

Toss everything into the food processor.

Buzz until smooth. Didn't take me more than a minute.

Toss the sauce into the broccoli and pasta.

Give everything a good stir. Add the lemon juice. You can probably go up to a tablespoon if you like it a bit more tart. Taste as you add.

If it's too thick, add a splash of chicken broth to loosen things up.

You'll probably want to add a little salt, and definitely add a little pepper. 

Serve with some parmesan cheese.

Overall the creaminess of the sauce worked great with the broccoli and the pepper really made a great compliment to the lemon. I was amazed that such a creamy sauce could be made from chickpeas. Very satisfying meal and I honestly didn't even miss the meat.

Easy. Cheap. Fast. 



  1. This one looks great Phil...especially for our almost entirely dairy-free household. Do you think it would be as good without the cheese?

  2. Yes, it'll be a little less salty, but the cheese is really just for garnish. The sauce itself was very good as is.

  3. Looks delicious; I will try this recipe but without the chicken broth since I'm a vegetarian. Thanks.

  4. Ahh, yes, sorry I tagged this as vegetarian. By all means do it with vegetable stock, it'll work just the same.


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