Orecchietta with Escarole
and Chickpeas



Orecchietta with Escarole and Chickpeas is a simple recipe to make and the flavor of the escarole gives this dish a special taste. These little ears are listening to the chickpeas chirp in a field of grass. How corny is that? I made that up all by myself.

Escarole has a deliciously distinct bitter flavor and is used in many Italian dishes including two of my favorites, escarole sautéed with hot Italian sausage or in a nice hearty soup. Chickpeas may be know to the orient but they have been a staple in Mediterranean cuisine for hundreds of years and are used in many stews and casserole dishes.

Like any pasta dish, this Orecchietta with Escarole and Chickpeas recipe should be topped with a whole lot of shaved or grated Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.


  • 1 pound of orecchietta pasta (Little Ears)
  • 1 bunch of escarole, washed, trimmed and cut into pieces
  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbls of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of freshly shaved or grated Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  • To wash the escarole fill the sink up with cold water, cut the bottom off the bunch and let the leaves float in the water then rinse them under cold water to remove all the sand and dirt.
  • Steam the escarole until wilted and tender, around 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Saute the garlic in the oil for about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste.
  • Add the chickpeas smashing around half of them with a wooden spoon.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • In 5 quarts of salted boiling water cook the pasta until al dente, around 10 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta and toss into the chickpea mixture.
  • Toss in the escarole.

    Serve with plenty of cheese. Serves 4 people.

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