Pasta with Broccoli & Chickpeas

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Evan and I are catching an early flight tomorrow morning to Nebraska, and we couldn't be more excited! Evan is the Best Man in a wedding on Saturday. Here's the kicker, my family is dear friends with the bride's family, and Evan's family is great friends of the groom's - so both of our families will be at the wedding! We're really blessed to be able to catch up with both sides of our family at one time - makes for an easy visit!

A few nights ago, we enjoyed a great pasta recipe. It was super simple, and I was able to use up some CSA broccoli. You know I don't like it raw!

Some of the reviews of the recipe (found on My Recipes) complained about it being bland. Au contraire! I think some people are just used to having pasta hidden beneath piles of cream or red sauces. Ya know?!

Personally, I think the garlic and lemon juice provide such great flavors. And come on...anything with crushed red pepper is a win in my book. Love me some spice!

I ended up cutting the recipe in half, and we still had leftovers. Oh, and I finished off some pasta that we already had in the cupboard. That's why you see fusilli and farfalle (sans the whole wheat part!).

Whole Wheat Penne with Broccoli & Chickpeas
Source: My Recipes

1 head broccoli, cut into florets, stems discarded
12 ounces whole-wheat penne
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 small lemons)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add broccoli; cook until just tender, 3 minutes. Scoop out broccoli with a slotted spoon; transfer to a bowl. Add pasta and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas, reserved broccoli and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot and stir in chickpea and broccoli mixture and lemon juice. Stir in reserved cooking liquid, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until pasta is lightly moistened. Spoon pasta into bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

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