Spaghetti with Garlic, Chickpeas and Braised Kale

From Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan.

2012 Nov/Dec

Who says spaghetti needs to be topped with a pound of ground? This quick and garlicky kale and chickpea combo comes together in the time it takes to cook dry pasta. From Spilling the Beans.


  • 1/2-1 lb. dry spaghetti
  • canola or olive oil, for cooking
  • butter, for cooking
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 19 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and well drained
  • 1 garlic head, cloves peeled and chopped
  • 1 small bunch of kale
  • juice of half a lemon
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Put a big pot of water on to boil, and cook the spaghetti. Meanwhile, heat a generous drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet, add a pat of butter (if you like) and sauté the onion and chickpeas for about 10 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Scoop out the chickpeas and set them aside in a bowl (don’t worry about scooping the onions too, you just want to keep your chickpeas somewhat crisp).

Rinse the kale, pull out the tough ribs and coarsely chop or tear apart the leaves. Add the kale to the pan. Scoop about 1/4 c. of the pasta water from the pot and add it to the pan. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook the kale for about 10 minutes, until tender.

Drain the spaghetti, reserving a bit of the cooking liquid. Add the spaghetti to the kale mixture. Add the lemon juice and a few spoonfuls of the reserved cooking liquid and toss to combine. Add the chickpeas and a handful of parmesan cheese and toss everything until well combined –- add more cooking liquid if you like it saucier. Season the dish with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.