My job is done, almost. I got my husband to eat chickpeas. I got my son to say he would eat cabbage – he balked at the sight of the legumes, but heck, I'm nearly home.
Just about every ingredient is flexible or replaceable…cabbage and kale could switch places. Shallots and onion of just about any color are interchangeable. Bacon isn't essential if you're meat free. Pancetta could sideline the bacon if you're a meat lover.
I channeled my inner NY Chef Michael White for this one – who else would mince a jalapeño for this pasta special?
12 ounces pasta
4 slices bacon, 5 if you're snacking
2 shallots chopped
1/2 cabbage roughly matchsticked
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 jalapeño, chopped fine
1 cup chickpeas rinsed
1/2 cup Parmesan or similar Italian cheese
Olive oil (if not using bacon)
Salt & pepper
1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)
Cook pasta according to directions, saving 1 cup pasta water. Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove and chop. Leave fat (or add olive oil if you skipped bacon), adding shallots. Soften 2-3 minutes. Add cabbage and garlic if using. Cook 5-ish minutes. Add jalapeño, 1-2 minutes. Add chickpeas, cook through, then add pasta with enough pasta water to make “sauce” and get the good stuff from the bottom of the pan. It will be at least 1/2 cup. Add bacon & butter. Season with salt, pepper & Parmesan.