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Pasta with Chickpeas

In a simple, rustic dish such as this one, it is important to use the best ingredients. Look for premium extra-virgin olive oil with a greenish tint and peppery kick for drizzling on top.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups (28 oz.) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 oz. pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh sage or rosemary
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/4 lb. ditali or other small pasta
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Simmer the chickpeas
In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the chickpeas and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook, partially covered, until the chickpeas are very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the chickpeas and pass them through a potato ricer or puree in a food processor or blender. Return them to the pot and stir.

Make the soup
In a fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the 3 Tbs. oil. Add the pancetta and sauté until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the onion, garlic and sage and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of the chickpea broth and stir to combine. Add the pancetta mixture to the pot with the chickpeas. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until al dente, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the parsley and serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Pasta, by Julia della Croce (Oxmoor House, 2006).