Chickpea Spaghetti (Spaghetti con Ceci)
2.8.11 § 18 Comments
Living alone can be tough for someone who loves to cook. I get annoyed by halving recipes and I can’t always muster the willpower to eat the same thing every day for a week. However, all of this has an upside too: my freezer is full of frozen food. That’s been especially important this last week, as I’ve been so busy I haven’t even had time to breathe, let alone cook. It’s also been good because I’m getting to put some of that tupperware back into rotation *fist pump*.
This week’s star was the sauce for chickpea spaghetti, which I made a few weeks back. It was really simple to make and the deliciousness level totally blew me away. It didn’t disappoint on its second run either, although it was decidedly less pretty the second time around (which is when the picture is from).
This recipe, adapted by Deb at Smitten Kitchen from a Michael White gem, is definitely making its way into my favorites file. As Deb suggested, I doubled the sauce, and man, am I glad I did. I couldn’t get enough. She also says that this dish is great for carb-loading (it was originally run in NYMag right before the NYC marathon), but seriously, since when do I need an excuse to load up on carbs? Since never, that’s when.
So without further ado, here’s the recipe. Make it in big batches. Trust me, it’s an amazing thing to discover in your freezer.
2 15 ounce cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained or about 4 cups, freshly cooked chickpeas
1 cup chicken stock
10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup pancetta, diced (about 4 ounces)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
10 cloves garlic, minced
Generous pinch chile flakes
2 14-ounce cans of tomatoes, chopped
20 to 25 basil leaves
Salt to taste
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste
Set 1/2 cup of chickpeas aside. In a blender or food processor (or using an immersion blender, which is what I did), combine remaining chickpeas with chicken stock and pulse a few times until chickpeas are chopped but not smooth.
Place a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil and diced pancetta. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned. You’ll probably want to use a splatter screen if you have one. Add onions, garlic, and chile flakes. Continue cooking until onions and garlic are translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add chickpea mixture, tomatoes, and basil, and let it all simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt. While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook until nearly al dente (about one minute less than you normally would). Reserve one cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Toss the pasta with chickpea sauce, reserved chickpeas and half of the reserved pasta water until evenly coated and heated through. If sauce still feels too thick add reserved pasta water as needed. (I didn’t need to do this.) Season again, as needed, and serve with grated Parmesan to pass.