Thursday, November 25, 2010

Spaghetti with Chickpeas

Spaghetti with Chickpeas

This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen which was adapted by Chef Michael White published in New York Magazine. The garbanzo bean/tomato sauce is so full of flavor, I can imagine the sauce on its own is equally delicious eaten with brown rice or substituting orzo pasta for the spaghetti. A few vegetarian readers on Smitten Kitchen have omitted the pancetta with great success. I may just do that the next time.

Two 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup olive oil
About 1 cup diced pancetta (4 ounces) (Optional)
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 large onion, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely minced
Two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
About 20 to 30 basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti, linguine or orzo pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)

Set aside 2/3 cup garbanzo beans. In a food processor, combine remaining garbanzo beans and chicken stock. Pulse a few times until garbanzo beans are coarsely chopped.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high until hot. Add olive oil and pancetta. Reduce heat to medium and continue to saute for about 2 to 3 minutes until nicely browned, partially covered to avoid grease splattering. Add the chili flakes and saute for a few seconds. Add the onions and garlic. Increase heat to medium-high heat and continue to cook until onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes and basil leaves. When mixture comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in salted water for about 11 to 12 minutes, or just slightly under al dente. Drain pasta and immediately add hot pasta to the bean sauce. Continue to cook and toss pasta for another minute or until pasta is al dente. Remove from heat and toss in the Parmesan cheese. Serve with more grated Parmesan cheese.

Yields 6 to 8 servings

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