Saturday, April 2, 2011

Orzo with Chickpeas and Broccoli

This recipe involves...are you sitting down? It involves white, processed, supermarket variety pasta. You can go ahead and kick me out of the whole food club now.

The thing is, we have these small, random pockets of processed in our cupboards still, from before our kitchen's whole food makeover. And sometimes, when you're teaching two two-hour lectures back to back and wading through hours upon hours of meetings, you just want something easy to make for dinner. Besides, there are chickpeas in this. And green stuff. So it's really quite decent, in the grand scheme of things, and totally delicious.

You could make this with whole wheat orzo, and adjust the liquid and cooking times accordingly, and feel up to 11% less skeptical about the foodiness of its contents.

Olive oil
1 medium to large shallot, quartered lengthwise and sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 scant cup orzo pasta
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 bunch broccolini or broccoli, sliced at an angle
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
Liberal sprinkling of Parmesan cheese
Lemon wedges (optional)

Heat a glug of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. When hot, add the shallot and one of the garlic cloves, and saute for a few minutes until the shallot is soft and the garlic is lightly browned. Add the orzo and stir to coat evenly. After about a minute, add the broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and cook 9-10 minutes, or according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat a wide saute pan over medium heat. Add a generous glug of olive oil and the other clove of garlic, and simmer in the oil until both sides are golden. Add the broccoli and saute, stirring, for a couple of minutes, then add the chickpeas and saute for a moment more. Add the salt and pepper, and cover the pan, turning the heat down slightly. Steam for a couple minutes until the broccoli is just tender, then add the parsley.

When the orzo is al dente, add the broccoli mixture. Stir, add a splash more broth if needed, and cook for a minute more. Turn off the heat, stir in the cheese, and serve hot, garnished with a lemon wedge if desired.

Serves 2.

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