Whole-Grain Pasta with Chickpeas and Escarole

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 42 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 22 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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2 cups whole-grain penne

1 head escarole, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste

1/4 cup capers, drained and patted dry (optional)

5 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 28 -ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed slightly, liquid reserved

1 15 .5-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; add the escarole during the last 2 minutes, cover and do not stir. Remove the escarole with tongs; set aside. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Meanwhile, if you're using capers, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the capers and fry until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  2. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Cook the garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes until the garlic toasts slightly, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, a pinch of salt and the bay leaves. Cook until the tomatoes and chickpeas brown, about 6 minutes. Add the escarole and reserved tomato juice and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 4 more minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  3. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss with the sauce; season with salt and pepper. (If the sauce is thick, add some reserved pasta water.) Stir in the cheese and top with fried capers, if using, and more cheese.
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