This Easy Italian Stew Is My New Favorite Pantry Staple Meal

The only thing I had to chop was garlic.

Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce
Photo: Con Poulos

The other evening, around 4:45 p.m., I began dreading the prospect of making dinner. I had a container of baby kale in my fridge that I had to use that day, but not much else. My cupboards, of course, were filled with pantry staples that I consistently ignore in favor of delivery, a crutch during the gloomy winter months.

When I shared my predicament, a colleague recommended I try Lilia chef Missy Robbins' super-simple Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro. I looked at the recipe. 20 minutes of active time? Perfect. No need to run to the store? Also perfect. In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe, which swaps in canned chickpeas for the pasta you'd normally find in pomodoro sauce, one of its best.

"It's an amazing one-pan dish that's packed with richness but doesn't take a long time to make," said Robbins, who tops it with Parmesan and chopped basil.

As mentioned, the only fresh ingredient in my house was the baby kale, which worked wonderfully as a substitute for chopped Tuscan kale. In fact, the only thing I had to chop was the garlic. Everything else—the chili flakes, the fennel seeds, the canned chickpeas—I could toss in as is. (In keeping with my current bout of laziness, I didn't crush the whole peeled Italian tomatoes by hand. I smashed them apart with the wooden spoon I was using.)

Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

The spicy stew came out wonderfully, and it really was as easy as advertised. I drizzled lots of fruity extra virgin olive oil on top and gobbled it down with some bread I found in my freezer.

Get the recipe: Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

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