Friday, February 6, 2009

Another Pasta Dish: Spaghetti con Ceci (Chickpeas)

And while I'm at it, here's another pasta dish.

This is actually something I made first towards the end of last year. It's a recipe that we pulled out of New York magazine ( I only made a couple of minor adjustments to the recipe (reducing amount of oil & pasta - it was from a feature about "carbo-loading" so was a bit heavy-handed with the spaghetti). Plus I didn't bother about getting Italian chickpeas from Di Palo's, or San Marzano tomatoes, whatever those might be.

Anyway, it's delicious. And I'm sure it would still be pretty nice if you're veggie and wanted to leave out the pancetta and use vegetable stock.

The Recipe: Spaghetti con Ceci

  • 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 0.5 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil [they had 5!]
  • 0.5 cup pancetta, diced [that's about 0.25 lb]
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced [I have to leave this out, as I'm garlic-intolerant, sigh]
  • Pinch chile flakes
  • 14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes [the ones with no salt are best]
  • 10 to 15 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 oz. spaghetti [they had 1lb, which seemed excessive, but do whatever amount you normally make]
  • Freshly grated Parmesan to taste

Serves 4

1) In a blender or food processor, combine 12 oz. of the chickpeas with the chicken stock and pulse a few times until chickpeas are chopped. [I didn't have a blender at the time, so just mashed them together with a potato masher - worked fine.]

2) Place a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil and diced pancetta. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned. [I drain the fat off here if it's excessive.]

3) Add onions, garlic, and chile flakes. Continue cooking until onions and garlic are translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.

4) Add chickpea mixture, tomatoes, basil, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add remaining whole chickpeas. Season to taste with salt. [I've never found it necessary to add any, even using the no-salt tomatoes, because the pancetta is salty.]

5) While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook until done.

6) Drain pasta, and toss with chickpea sauce. Plate and top with grated parmesan cheese.


See notes above.
Who knew New York mag had such great recipes?


End of step 3.

Beginning of step 4.

End of step 4.

The finished item (with rather too much pasta). I realize we didn't toss the pasta with the sauce, but never mind.

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