Pasta and Chickpeas with Plenty of Parsley and Garlic
From Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen, by Deborah Madison
This is one of the simplest dishes you can make. The pasta and chickpeas are tossed with a big lively bunch of parsley that's been chopped with lots of garlic and sage. For pasta, I like the organic whole-wheat shells made by Bionaturae in Italy. Its flavor is not grimly "healthy," but it is robust enough to stand up to the chickpeas. There are lots of ways to play with this dish — see the variations — and it's vegan if you don't add the cheese.
A Primitivo from Puglia, or its cousin, a Zinfandel from Sonoma, would be a good wine to serve.
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra to finish
1/2 large onion, diced
a few pinches of hot red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15-ounce can, preferably organic, liquid reserved
1 big bunch of flat-leaf parsley, the leaves stripped from the stems
3 plump garlic cloves
small handful of sage leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound whole-wheat pasta shells
freshly grated Parmesan
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
2. Heat the oil in a wide skillet and add the onion and pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes, then add the chickpeas. While they're warming, chop the parsley, garlic, and sage together, then toss a third of it into the pan. Season well with salt and pepper, add a little water or chickpea broth to the pan, and cook slowly, adding more liquid as it cooks away.
3. Salt the pasta water and cook the pasta. When done, drain and toss it with the chickpeas, the rest of the parsley mixture, and extra olive oil to taste. Taste for salt and season with freshly ground pepper. Grate some cheese over the top and serve with additional pepper flakes.
Start the water boiling for the pasta. Heat and season the chickpeas, cook the pasta, and put the two together.
• In summer, cut up a few garden tomatoes and add them at the very end.
• Enliven the dish with some grated lemon zest.
• Dark green (Le Puy) or black (Beluga) lentils are delicious here. If you have some cooked, add them to the chickpeas or use them in their stead.
• Mild ricotta or more pungent slivers of ricotta salata are both good in this pasta.
From the book Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen by Deborah Madison. Copyright (c) 2005 by Deborah Madison. Published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
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