Satisfy your pizza craving in an easy, healthy way with Pasta Super Slice at a fraction of the cost. Just bake a batter made from high-protein chickpea flour over layers of chopped greens and left-over pasta, then finish it under the broiler for crispy brown goodness. For a complete meal, serve wedges of Pasta Super Slice with a salad or vegetable soup, followed by fruit for dessert. It's a great low-fat, dairy-free snack for sports fans glued to the play-off games, too.
Pasta Super Slice
Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: 1 hour. Yield: 6 main-dish servings or 8 snacks.
- 1 1/2 cup chickpea flour (180 grams), also called garbanzo bean flour or besan flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 large collard leaves
- 2 cups cooked pasta in savory tomato sauce
- Put one oven rack in the center of your oven and another under the broiler with room for your cast-iron skillet to fit under the broiler elements. My skillet is 9 inches across the bottom and two inches deep, but a slightly larger one should work well too. Put the skillet on the middle shelf and heat the oven to 450°F. If you don't have a heat-proof surface next to your oven, put a trivet nearby.
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour in about half the water and whisk until smooth. Add remaining water and one tablespoon of oil, then whisk until well combined. Make-ahead tip: you can make this batter a day or two in advance, then refrigerate it until you are ready.
- Remove stems from collard leaves, saving for another recipe. Slice leaves into 1/2-inch by 3-inch strips. Using hot-pad gloves, remove the skillet from your oven. Pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into the skillet, tilting skillet so bottom and sides are covered up to one inch from the rim. Add collard leaves, toss to coat with oil, and spread evenly across the skillet bottom. Put the skillet on the oven's middle rack for two minutes to wilt collards.
- Remove the skillet from the oven. Marvel at how the collards are now nearly flat in the bottom of the skillet. Spread sauced pasta evenly over collards, then pour chickpea batter over pasta. Use a fork to poke through batter in about a dozen places to let steam escape and then to tuck in any pasta that sticks out. Put the skillet back on the middle rack and bake for 35 minutes until top starts to crack and steam is no longer escaping. Move the skillet to the top rack just under the broiler. Broil for three more minutes until top is mostly browned and edges are crispy.
- Cut Pasta Super Slices into wedges and serve hot or warm. Refrigerate extra for a day or two. Reheat in a toaster oven if possible or in a microwave.
- Most tomato-based pasta sauces will be fine in the recipe except for those that use raisins or other fruit.
- This recipe could be gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta. It's also as dairy-free, vegetarian, or vegan as the pasta you use.
- This recipe replaces an old, thrifty favorite that I made with eggs. It's so good that we will be having it about once a week except when it's too hot to run the oven.