Here is a pasta sauce that is perfect for lockdowns and you can make with pantry staples. I used leeks, kale from the garden, tinned chick peas, tinned tomatoes, garlic and cream so the recipe is written with these in mind but feel free to sub with what you have in the fridge or pantry. For example instead of cream, you could use some evaporated milk and you can sub onion for the leek. If you don’t have kale but have some frozen or fresh spinach, you could use that instead.

You could use rigatoni or caserecce or penne. I use a 100g per person as a rough portion size.

Pasta with Kale and Chickpeas


1 large leek, washed well and sliced half moons

2 x 400g tin of chick peas, drained, rinsed well and towel dried

100-120g of baby kale, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons (30g) butter

1 x 400g tin of tomatoes

3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ to 1 teaspoon chilli flakes

Pinch of sugar

Rind of 1 lemon, finely zested

200ml cream or plant based cream or evaporated milk

Salt and pepper


Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick fry pan and fry the chick peas until crispy (takes about 20 minutes on medium heat).

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and butter. Fry the leeks on low heat for ten minutes. Add the garlic and when the smell of garlic is evident, add the prepared kale.

Season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and pinch of sugar. Fry until it is well combined and add the tinned tomatoes. Pour a half cup of the pasta boiling water. Let the sauce simmer for five minutes before stirring in the cream and lemon rind.

Once pasta is cooked, add the pasta to the sauce and heat through briefly. Serve in individual bowls and divide the fried chick peas. Serves 4-5

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