Lagane e Ceci
Flat Pasta and Chickpeas
From The Southern Italian Table by Arthur Schwartz, copyright 2009, published by Clarkson Potter. Reprinted with permission.
- Servings: 4 or 5.
This recipe is from Arthur Schwartz's tempting, interesting and important book, The Southern Italian Table, which has turned into one of my most favorite and often used cookbook.
In the recipe's introduction he writes, "Chickpeas and pasta, seasoned in various ways, is a true dish of la cucina povera, the poor peasant's kitchen, but it is nowadays a fashionable retro dish, a homey evening meal for cosmopolitan people who ache to keep in touch with their rural pasts.
Lagane, a short, wide ribbon or rectangular fresh semolina-and-water pasta, is the traditional pasta used in this dish. However, factory-made pasta with chickpeas is the norm in Italy today. Prepared with chickpeas from a can or jar, seasoned with nothing more than garlic, either parsley or rosemary, and fragrant olive oil, it's the best kind of convenience food".
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or 1/2 to 1 fresh or dried hot red pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 (15-16-ounce) cans chickpeas
- 8 ounces dried small pasta, such as lagane, ditali, pennette, or broken lasagne
- In a small saucepan, combine the garlic, oil, red pepper flakes, and rosemary. Over low heat, let the garlic sizzle until it barely begins to brown.
- Add the chickpeas with all of their liquid. Simmer gently, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
- Boil the pasta in at least 3 quarts of water with 1 heaping tablespoon of salt.
- Just before the pasta is done, with a potato masher or the bottom of a tumbler (or more carefully with an immersion blender), mash about half the chickpeas, right in the pot.
- When the pasta is done, drain well, but scoop out a cup of pasta cooking water first, in case you want to loosen the sauce.
- Combine the pasta with the chickpeas in a large serving bowl. Toss well. Add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water if the pasta is too dry. (It should not be soupy, however.)
- Serve very hot with either olio santo (hot pepper oil) or condiment-quality extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle over the top.