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Meyer's Lemony Broccoli and Chickpea Rigatoni

Chef Marc Meyer's first book, Brunch, offers outrageously good recipes from his first Manhattan restaurant, Five Points. This quick and healthy pasta with chickpeas in a piquant lemon-Parmesan cheese sauce epitomizes his unfussy, ingredient-centric style.

slideshow  More Fast Pasta Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • One 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 5 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a medium bowl, toss the chickpeas with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a colander and rinse under cold water until cool. Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is golden, about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpea mixture and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute.
  4. Drain the rigatoni, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the broccoli and chickpeas along with the reserved cooking water and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the rigatoni is coated with sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Transfer the pasta to a bowl, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.

Suggested Pairing

The sauce here pairs well with a crisp Northern Italian white, particularly Pinot Bianco, since the grape often has earthy, musky notes that go well with cheese. Open a bottling from the Collio region.

Contributed By Photo © Frances Janisch Published June 2006

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