For many, the words “pasta e fagioli” conjure the image of a particular dish with a tomato-laden broth, but pasta and beans don’t stop at that. The duo is the foundation of a multitude of wonderful one-pot variations, all simple, hearty and nutritious. This one, studded with artichoke hearts in a lovely, lemony liquid also brings an easy elegance to the table.
The bean used here is the mighty chickpea, and this dish so chock-full of them that it warrants being called a chickpea stew. At the start, some are mashed with a little broth and lemon juice and are added to thicken the broth in the end. The rest are simmered in broth with carrots, onions, garlic and rosemary. Then pasta is added to the pot where it is cooked al dente before the artichokes and ribbons of spinach are stirred in.
Quick, flavorful and fulfilling, it’s exactly the kind of meal you need to help ease the adjustment to the back-to-school routine.
Lemony chickpea stew with pasta and artichokes
This hearty, one-pot meal of chickpeas and pasta is studded with artichoke hearts and ribbons of spinach in a lovely lemony broth for a simple, nutritious meal with elegant flair.
Note: The stew can be stored covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more as needed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup small whole-wheat pasta, such as elbows or small shells
2 cups frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
Place ½ cup chickpeas, ¼ cup broth and the lemon juice into a medium bowl and mash will a fork until the mixture is fairly smooth.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring, cook until the onion has softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 more minute.
Add the remaining chickpeas, the remaining broth, the rosemary, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the pasta, return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprig. Add the chickpea puree, then stir in the artichokes and the spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted and the artichokes have warmed through, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with additional lemon juice and/or salt, if desired.
Makes 4 to 6 servings (makes 6 cups). Nutrition per serving (based on 6): 290 calories, 14 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fat, 1 grams saturated fat, no cholesterol, 230 milligrams sodium, 12 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams sugar.