Friday, September 25, 2009

Super Cook

I used to make fun of Avo for building entire meals around one ingredient. He couldn't bear to see an unused stalk of celery go to waste, so he'd run out to buy more stuff in order to use the celery.

I am not laughing anymore.

Yesterday I got it in my head that I wanted to use the forsaken can of chickpeas that has been taking up space in our cupboard for months. Of course, I realize that its expiration date isn't for another couple of years, but that's beside the point. I wanted to put the chickpeas to good use NOW.

I found Super Cook, an online recipe search engine that finds recipes you can make with only the ingredients you have at home.

When I input chickpeas and broccoli, it came up with this recipe:

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti With Broccoli, Chickpeas and Garlic


6 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
(10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli (not thawed)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 pound whole-wheat spaghetti

Accompaniments: finely grated parmesan; lemon wedges (optional)


Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add broccoli and salt and cook, breaking up frozen chunks and stirring occasionally, until broccoli is thawed and crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and cook until heated through.

Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta and reserved cooking water to broccoli and chickpeas in skillet and cook over moderate heat, tossing, until combined well. Serve drizzled with additional olive oil.

This all went very smoothly (although I did have to run to the store for the whole wheat pasta). It would have gone even smoother if I wasn't helping Jesse do her homework and emptying the dishwasher and putting away laundry and trying to bake chocolate chip cookies while I was cooking.

Amazingly, I managed to get the pasta perfectly al dente. Even Avo said so. And Ruby loved the dish so much, she asked to bring the leftovers to school for lunch today.

The cookies turned out great too!


Kathy N. said...

Congrats! Now, that, to me, is a real accomplishment. Cooking something great with what you already have. Awesome.

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

ok, your kid wanting to take it to school is the ULTIMATE compliment!