spaghetti with chickpeas

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Spaghetti with Chickpeas [Spaghetti con Ceci]
From Michael White, via New York Magazine

As I mentioned above, despite generally wishing for pasta dishes with less, not more sauce, I wouldn’t mind this dish with 1 1/2 to 2 times the sauce. My sauce reduced significantly in the 20 minutes it simmered, uncovered. But, in case that’s just me, I’m sharing the recipe as written and if you are looking at the photos and thinking it needs a little more chickpea sauce love, go ahead and double it. Alternately, you could halve or two-thirds the pasta quantity but what fun would that be?

Serves 4 as a main, 8 as a first course or “2 to 3 marathoners”, says NYM

15 ounces canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained or about 2 cups, freshly cooked chickpeas
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, thinly sliced
Pinch chile flakes
1 14-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
10 to 15 basil leaves
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.


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