Serving dinner to mixed company — vegetarians and meat eaters, that is — can be a tricky affair. Hearty pasta dishes are your easiest path to culinary harmony.
Bow-tie pasta with rapini and chickpeas is a fine option for several reasons.
First, the rapini (also called broccoli raab, a pungent relative to broccoli) gives the dish an assertive, complex flavor that will please varied palates. The chickpeas also provide a meaty texture, as well as satisfying protein.
If the rapini is too strong for your taste, milder broccolini makes a good substitute.
Consider serving this pasta with some crusty bread and a salad dressed with a tart vinaigrette to balance the bold flavors of the dish.
Start to finish: 35 minutes (15 minutes active)
2 pounds rapini (broccoli raab)
8 ounces bow-tie pasta (farfalle)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Trim and discard the stem ends, yellowed leaves and any stems thicker than 1/3-inch from the rapini. Chop it coarsely.
Add the rapini to the boiling water (in batches if necessary) and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the rapini to a colander to drain, using the spoon to press out any excess liquid. Leave the pot of water over the heat.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-low, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 90 seconds. Add the red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice and drained rapini. Stir until well combined and heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the rapini mixture and Parmesan cheese, then toss to combine. Serve with extra grated Parmesan for topping, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 481 calories; 96 calories from fat; 11 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 73 g carbohydrate; 24 g protein; 6 g fiber; 511 mg sodium.