The mixture is transferred to a Vitamix, or high-powered blender, along with a cup of arugula and blended until smooth. Ladle the soup and a small amount of arugula is put atop the soup. You can drizzle olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice. Although I purchased the lemon, I forgot to use it as well as the olive oil. Despite not adding any garnishes, the soup was delicious. I couldn’t believe how thick and creamy the texture was (I love thick, creamy soups!). Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the soup. It will become a regular in my repertoire.
What do you do when you accidently pick up a can of chick peas instead of cannellini beans? You hope to come across a recipe that uses them, which I did when I found a terrific pasta recipe on my NYT Cooking app. Creamy Chickpea Pasta with Spinach and Rosemary is a 30-minute recipe that not only used chickpeas, but I could also use rosemary from my cold frame and it was a PASTA dish to boot!
For the flavorful, hearty pasta dish you’ll need kosher salt, olive oil, chickpeas, fresh rosemary, Aleppo pepper (or use red-pepper flakes), black pepper, a shallot, garlic cloves, heavy cream, bag of baby spinach, spaghetti (or bucatini), freshly grated Parmesan cheese and lemon wedges. The creamy pasta sauce begins by sautéing the chickpeas along with chopped rosemary and Aleppo/red pepper flakes until the chickpeas caramelize and start to pop. A portion is removed before adding shallots and garlic. Next heavy cream is added to thicken the sauce. Off heat you’ll add the spinach, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
I used bucatini pasta, (narrow, hollowed tube pasta) and, as suggested by the recipe, used tongs to transfer the pasta to the sauce. It was a bit tricky, but the starchy pasta water is needed for the sauce. Once the pasta is in the sauce, the heat is turned on and you must vigorously stir to create an emulsion. If the sauce is too thick for your taste, a bit of the reserved pasta water can be added to loosen the sauce.
To serve, the pasta is garnished with the reserved chickpeas, additional finely chopped rosemary and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. Mm! This pasta was light tasting, very flavorful from the addition of rosemary (woody and sage-like with notes of lemon and mint) and a creaminess from the sauce. The combination of flavors created a small explosion in your mouth. A pleasing change from tomato sauce and another recipe in which to use my spinach in this year’s CSA box from Dreyer Farms.
Broccoli and Arugula Soup
By Cynthia Groseclose
Charleston Magazine, January 2022
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 cups diced sweet yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups broccoli florets
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 qt. vegetable stock
2 cups arugula leaves, divided
1 lemon, cut into 4 to 6 wedges
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and sauté for one minute. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion begins to turn translucent and the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the broccoli florets. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cook the florets for four to five minutes, or until they turn bright green. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the broccoli is just tender, six to eight minutes.
Transfer the soup to a Vitamix or high-powered blender, add one cup of arugula, and blend until smooth. Taste and season again. Transfer the soup back to the pot and keep hot until serving. Garnish each bowlful with the remaining cup of arugula, a drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon.
Cooled and covered, the soup can be refrigerated for up to three days.
Creamy Chickpea Pasta with Spinach and Rosemary
By Alexa Weibel
The New York Times/Cooking
Yield: 4 Servings
Time: 30 minutes
¼ cup olive oil
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach
12 ounces spaghetti or bucatini
½ cup finely grated Parmesan
Lemon wedges, for serving
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.