Friday, June 9, 2017

Another Missy's Quickie Pasta

 Missy Tippens

Y'all know how much I love pasta. I often cook it when I don't have much time to cook, or just don't want to spend much energy cooking. One night this week, I decided to make a pasta using a jar of capers I'd just bought. I wanted to do a lemon caper pasta.

Of course, I didn't have a lemon. The story of my life! haha So I used the bottled juice.

I based this recipe on one I found on Food Network from Giada De Laurentiis. It's called Rigatoni with Greens (original can be found here). Here's my modified recipe...

Package of greens (I used about 1/2 of a large container of baby spinach)
2 tsp chopped garlic
3 Tbsp capers (but I thought it needed more, so do to taste)
Lemon juice--several good squirts (original calls for lemon zest if you have that)
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1-3/4 cups Parmesan cheese--shredded
chopped Kalamata olives if desired (we thought this dish needed the extra flavor and added them to our plate, however increasing the capers might help)
1/2 tsp chili flakes (in the original recipe, but I didn't have any)
Your choice of pasta noodles (I used angel hair)--about 3/4 of a package

Cook your pasta until not quite done.

While pasta is cooking, heat 1/4 cup olive oil and add the chick peas. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring often. They get nice and golden and almost crispy and I wanted to eat them then! Try to refrain and add the capers, garlic and chili flakes and cook for 1 minute. If you want to add the olives, do so at this point. Then add the greens as well as a little salt and cook until wilted.

Before draining the pasta, scoop out about 2 cups of the water to reserve for later. Add about 1/4-1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the sauce and simmer for a minute or two.

Now add the pasta noodles and then sprinkle with 1-1/2 cups parmesan and the lemon juice (or zest). Then add about 1 cup of reserved pasta water (this is what makes your sauce saucy). :) Let the noodles finish cooking and then serve! Top with the rest of the parmesan.

I thought it turned out a little bland since I didn't have any of the chili pepper the recipe calls for. Though, the olives did help. But we still needed some spice.

I thought this Penzey's Spices Mural of Flavor would be perfect since it has a lemony component.

The meal was good once we spiced it up!


  1. Missy, this actually looks marvelous.... I love chick peas. They're so good!!!! And tossing everything together makes me happy!!!!

    Thanks for noting that the added spice would be important. We've been adding Montreal Chicken seasoning to lots of things.... and bruschetta seasoning. Both have a lot of zest and flavor, just really nice meldings of favorites....

    And anything with pasta works in my book!!!

  2. Ruthy, I love Montreal Chicken and Steak seasonings. I use them a lot, too.

    You should try browning the chick peas! Next time I'm going to try eating them like that as a snack. Because once you add the sauce, they get soft again like they're right out of the can.

  3. I've never thought of browning the chick peas! I often add them to a salad for extra protein, but they would be so much better this way.

    And this recipe looks delicious - and either as a vegetarian main dish, or as a side dish.

    Thanks for hint on the spices, too. I love using the Montreal Chicken and Steak seasonings - I'll try the chicken one when I make this. :)

  4. Jan, I had never seen that done before either. They looked so tasty that way!

  5. Haha! I laughed at the "didn't have a lemon" bit. I never have one, either! Unless I buy one specifically for a recipe, I never have them on hand. Are there people who just keep lemons around for the off chance they may need one??

    1. LOL, Mary Virginia. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I don't use them regularly for tea or anything like that, so I only buy them for recipes. :)