Sometimes I desire the toothsome texture of rigatoni and the fragrance of onion and garlic sautéed in olive oil. Mmm. Comfort for supper. The Italians are smart people. As our friend Gianni reminds us, traditionally Italy was poor, and the people knew how to get nutrition and flavour from very little.

Rigatoni sautéed with chickpeas, onion and garlic. Tossed with anchovies and sunchoke.

Rigatoni sautéed with chickpeas, onion and garlic. Tossed with anchovies and sunchoke.

Last night was one of those busy weeknights where I didn’t have a lot of time or energy for cooking. This rigatoni dish cooks quickly with what we have on hand – or with what I can pick up in 10 minutes at the grocery store on the way home from work :) I like watching as the chickpea sauce comes together and fills the kitchen with the delicious smells of dinner. It’s not intuitive really. Just by looking at the ingredient list, you wouldn’t think that you’re creating a satisfying meal. Even my husband, who normally likes dinners that require a steak knife, loved it.

I added sunchokes to this rigatoni meal because my local grocer had them on display and I wanted to try them. (You can include them or not. Your rigatoni will be delicious with or without.) Sunchokes taste somewhat like potato, but they are less starchy and they have an earthy flavour. They are high in fiber, potassium, iron and vitamins. 

Enjoyable to make and eat, and easy on the budget. Try it tonight!

Rigatoni with chickpeas and kale, sautéed in olive oil with onion and garlic. With anchovy and sunchoke.

Rigatoni with chickpeas and kale, sautéed in olive oil with onion and garlic. With anchovy and sunchoke.

The Recipe:

Ingredients

  • Rigatoni Pasta ½ pound / 250 g
  • 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil (for boiling pasta)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (for boiling pasta)
  • 1 can Chickpeas, 14 fl oz / 400 ml
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, roughly chopped into small pieces
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tin 1.8 oz / 50 g Anchovies
  • 1 bunch raw Kale, roughly chopped with fibrous stems remove
  • 2 small Jerusalem Artichokes a.k.a. Sunchokes, sliced thin (optional). Approx ½ cup / 250 ml

Directions

  1. Bring pasta water to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. When water boils, turn off heat and leave on stove.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add onion and sautée for approx. 5 minutes, stirring regularly until onion starts to become translucent.
  3. Add sun chokes to onion mixture. (optional)
  4. Add garlic and sautée for approx. 2 more minutes until garlic starts to become translucent. Do not overcook the garlic and allow it to brown.
  5. Boil your pasta until al dente while you do the next steps. When you drain pasta, reserve approx. 1 cup of water for adding to the chickpea mixture, as needed.
  6. Add chickpeas to skillet and sautée over medium-low heat for approx. 5 more minutes to allow chickpeas to pick up garlic and onion flavours.
  7. While chickpeas are cooking, massage your kale to tenderize it.
  8. Add kale and anchovies to the chickpea mixture and continue to sautée for 5 more minutes.
  9. If your chickpea mixture gets too dry as it cooks, stir in pasta water by spoonfuls so that you have a little sauce to coat the pasta.
  10. Toss the chickpea mixture with the hot pasta and serve.

 

YOU next year Principle

Eat food that makes you happy and stay healthy.

 

Quote

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”

Sophia Loren