Escarole with beans and pasta

Total Time
16 min
6 min
10 min
This dish offers pasta night revisited. Gone the usual marinara or tomato-based sauce. Instead, this deeply satisfying pasta gets dressed with a light, brothy chickpea and leafy green sauce in the style of rural Italy. This is comfort food at its finest, and Italians have enjoyed chickpeas as a staple in their cuisine since Roman times. No little hot dog bun shaped cavatelli available in your supermarket? Substitute 3 cups of any cooked, medium-sized pasta that has folds or dimples to catch the broth. Shells, ziti, rotini, radiatore, or farfalle (bow ties) all make great substitutes. Serve pasta with a side shaker of extra red pepper flakes to dose to taste.


Cooked pasta

8 oz, cavatelli variety if available

Olive oil

1 Tbsp


6 clove(s), sliced

Crushed red pepper flakes



1 pound(s), trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

Canned chickpeas

15½ oz, rinsed and drained

Vegetable broth

1 cup(s)

Table salt

¼ tsp

Romano cheese

2 oz, freshly grated (1/4 cup)


  1. Cook the cavatelli according to package directions omitting the salt; drain and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the escarole, a handful at a time, stirring until it has all been incorporated. Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, until the escarole is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and salt; bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the broth is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Add the pasta and heat through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Serve at once. Yields 1 cup per serving.