Chickpea Pasta with Broccoli Basil Sauce
who knew broccoli could be so luscious
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes in your inbox every Tuesday, and paid subscribers receive even more every Thursday!
Look, it has been a scary week. I don’t want to go on too much about what’s happening in Ukraine, because I think we are all aware and the infographic influx can quickly become repetitive and in turn, unproductive. Instead, I’ll list a few fundraisers at the end you can donate to should you feel compelled.
I don’t think there is one right way to show up on the internet, but I do know if you’re talking about something or sharing something because you feel like you have to, that’s not it — and I think people can see through that.
At the same time, I do feel silly talking about the things in my life that can feel trivial compared to the larger things happening around me, so I don’t think this is the week for me to go on about wedding planning or any other rant.
I do, however, want to stress that for me, not looking at the news 24/7 has been entirely helpful and that I feel like a new woman since I’ve been going on my daily morning walks. It’s cliché, I know, self-care, yadda yadda, but seriously, now is the time to start listening to all those green-juice chugging “that girls” and do whatever is you need to do to just feel a little calmer. For me, it’s most definitely not the information overload that the internet can provide sometimes. I’m all for the power of the internet (duh, wouldn’t be here without it), but also, there is life outside of the internet, and I think we can easily forget that.
Ways To Give
Smitten Kitchen is holding a fundraiser for World Central Kitchen, who is currently on the ground feeding those who are fleeing Ukraine.
OutRight Action International is raising funds for LGBTIQ people leaving Ukraine/Kyiv who may be looking for shelter and assistance.
This list from Fortune also offers a number of reputable organizations that help with everything from therapy for traumatized children, medical assistance, etc.
I kind of feel like vegetables belong in everything (hot take, maybe?), and one of the easiest ways to eat a lot of veggies is to make them into a sauce. I had a craving for broccoli the other day (am I a weirdo?), and I decided to make it into a creamy sauce that I thought would pair well with the new Banza shape (cascatelli, created by Sporkful host Dan Pashman) that’s supposed to excel at holding sauce.
Ok, brace yourself for a string of inspiration here. This pasta dish was inspired by a kale sauce recipe I’ve eaten by Joshua McFadden, the chef at Ava Gene’s in Portland, Ore., who himself was inspired by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers of The River Café in London. I mostly pulled inspo from the method of cooking the cruciferous veggies in the pot, blending it, and cooking the pasta in that same pot. I added some basil and anchovies in here to give it more of a pesto vibe and a salty kick.
I will always say the anchovies are optional, but I strongly recommend them here. Grant does not like the fishy taste of anchovies in food, and even when I think they can’t be recognized, he can always call it out immediately. NOT THIS TIME! He had no idea. I just hesitate to say they can be dropped because I do think they add a nice salty, umami flavor. If you do choose to leave them out, I won’t hate you (especially if you’re vegetarian, how can I be mad at that?), but just replace it with a little more salt, or maybe even try a teeny bit of miso!
Ingredients (serves 2)
12 oz broccoli florets (1 large head broccoli, stems removed)
1 1/2 cups basil
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2-3 small anchovy filets
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz chickpea pasta (I used Banza cascatelli)
Salt & pepper
1. Bring a medium pot of heavily salted water to boil. Add the broccoli, and cook for about 7-10 minutes until just soft. Remove the broccoli from the pot with tongs (keep the water, you’ll cook the pasta in it), and add it to a blender along with the basil, garlic, anchovies, and about 1/3 cup of the hot water from the pot. Blend until smooth, taste, and add salt if desired.
2. In the same pot of water (add more water if needed), add the pasta and cook until al dente (I like to do it for a minute or two less than the box says). Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, and then drain the pasta (rinse if you’re using Banza to prevent sticking).
3. In the same pot or a large pan that’s been warmed up, add the pasta, about half of the sauce (save the rest for another time), a splash of the pasta water (I did about 1/2 cup), and the Parmesan cheese. Mix together until a silky green sauce has formed. Serve, and top with some more Parmesan cheese.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!
Last week was a bonus recipe week! Paid subscribers received a recipe for Mushroom & Goat Cheese Sheet Pan Gnocchi!! Someone on TikTok said this is the next baked feta pasta, which sounds fabulous to me.
If you haven’t hopped onto the sheet pan gnocchi trend yet, you just throw all your ingredients onto a sheet pan, including your uncooked gnocchi, and it all bakes in the oven. The gnocchi comes out crispy this way, which I know isn’t the classic prep, but I actually loveee the texture, perhaps even more than regular gnocchi (sorry, sorry).
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