I think you can probably tell that I like tomatoes. And tomato sauces. It is surely my comfort food.
I also had a rough start with chickpeas in my life. But, I am definitely getting into them the more I eat them in different ways. And in this sauce, they are delicious. They give this sauce almost a creaminess. A great texture too. With the addition of some pork fat, crushed red pepper flakes and basil...this dish is awesome.
Spaghetti with Chickpeas [Spaghetti con Ceci]
slightly adapted from smitten kitchen
15 ounces canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained or about 2 cups, freshly cooked
1/2 cup chicken stock
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pancetta, diced (a little shy of 2 ounces)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch chile flakes
1 32-ounce can diced tomatoes
10 to 15 basil leaves, chopped
Salt to taste
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Set 1/3 cup of chickpeas aside. In a blender or food processor, combine remaining chickpeas with chicken stock and pulse a few times until chickpeas are chopped.
Place a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil and diced pancetta. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned; a splatter screen will make your stove look better than mine did after this. 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 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 al dente, or tastes like it could use an additional minute’s cooking time. Reserve one cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Toss pasta with chickpea sauce, reserved chickpeas and half of the reserved pasta water until evenly coated and heated through, about one minute. If sauce still feels too thick add reserved pasta water as needed. Season again, as needed, and serve with grated Parmesan to pass.
(Servings: 4, Prep time: 10 min., Cook time: 30 min., Difficulty: Easy)
Shanon (taste): 8/10
Scot (taste): 8/10
Dishwashing Effort: 3/5