Lemony Pasta With Chickpeas and Parsley
You can used either canned or home-cooked chickpeas in this take on the classic Italian dish pasta con ceci, which is an excellent, nutritious, quick-cooking dinner. But even more appealing is the way the soft earthiness of the chickpeas plays off the al dente pasta, coating it like a rich sauce but without a lot of fat. The whole dish is zipped up with some lemon, garlic and red pepper flakes.
- Serves: 2 persons
- Kosher salt, as needed
- 8ounces regular or whole-wheat fusilli or other short, sturdy pasta
- 2cups cooked chickpeas, home-cooked or canned
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- ½onion, diced
- 1tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- Pinch of red pepper flakes, plus more as needed
- 1 ½cups chickpea cooking liquid (from a homemade pot; do not use the liquid from the can), vegetable stock or water
- 3cups fresh parsley leaves (from 1 large bunch)
- ⅔cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
- 1tablespoon unsalted butter
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- Ground black pepper to taste
Step 1Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add fusilli and cook until it is just shy of al dente. (It should be slightly underdone to your taste because you’ll finish cooking it in the sauce.) Drain well.
Step 2While the pasta is cooking, prepare the chickpea sauce: Place chickpeas in a large bowl and use a potato masher or a fork to lightly mash them; they should be about half-crushed.
Step 3Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add garlic cloves and fry until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in onions, rosemary, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Then stir in chickpeas and the cooking liquid, stock or water. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Step 4Stir in pasta and parsley, and cook until the pasta has finished cooking and is coated in the sauce, 1 to 2 minutes. Quickly toss in cheese, butter, lemon zest, black pepper to taste and salt if needed. Drizzle with olive oil and shower with additional cheese before serving.