Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, then stir in the escarole, chickpeas, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes; cover and cook until the escarole wilts, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as the label directs. After a few minutes, remove 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water and add to the skillet with the escarole mixture; simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half and the escarole is tender, about 5 minutes. When the pasta is done, reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain. Add the pasta to the skillet and cook, tossing to combine, 1 minute; add some of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
Photograph by Christopher Testani
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine