Quick midweek supper. Chickpeas with pasta might seem unusual but are traditionally used in Southern Italian recipes. They make a delicious combination.
A couple of different techniques here add layers of flavour and texture. Green mustard leaves are pickled to draw out some of the heat and add acidity. Other leaves are dried and crumbled to season the dish. Preserved lemon rind is finely chopped and the flesh is whisked into Greek yoghurt to create a sharp creamy sauce. Beetroot is slowly roasted to provide some sweetness. At this time of year mustard greens can be found in farmers market, but if you can’t find them, they can easily be replaced with kale leaves, and if you want the added punch stir in some horse radish sauce.
Roast beetroots in their skins at 200°C for about an hour. Let cool and scrub off the skins. Cut into quarters.
Pickle a handful of the mustard greens in a 50:50 mixture of red wine vinegar and water. Add a teaspoon each of salt and sugar. Allow the leaves to soak in the brine for an hour, while the beetroot is roasting. Take a handful of leaves and spread out on a baking tray. Coat with some olive oil, scatter over some salt, and dehydrate on a low shelf in the oven for 10 minutes while the beetroot is roasting. Take out of the oven and crumble into little shards.
Take a whole preserved lemon and separate the flesh from the skin. Stir the preserved lemon flesh to a couple of spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt. Finely slice the lemon skin
Cook Pasta – follow instructions on the packet. Open a tin of chickpeas, add to the boiling pasta for the final few minutes of cooking time. Drain.
Plate with the pasta and chickpeas. Throw over some of beetroot quarters. Drain the pickled leaves. Throw over the crumbled dehydrated leaves. Spoon on some of the lemon yoghurt and preserved lemon rind.