Tamar Adler’s Chickpea Pasta Recipe

From Tamar Adler, author of An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and GraceIf you have dried pasta and a can of chickpeas you can make chickpea pasta, which is consolation in a bowl.

1 pound small pasta: orechiette, penne, farfalle, elbow macaroni
1 30-oz can chickpeas, (or other Mediterranean seeming bean)
5 tablespoons olive oil
salt, black pepper (to taste)
optional: 2 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped. This tastes better with the garlic, I think.

Drain the chickpeas through a colander, and rinse them for a minute. Discard the gooey  liquid. Heat a small, deep-sided pot, and add the olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, add garlic, if using. Cook over very low heat until it can be easily broken by a wooden spoon. Add chickpeas, a pinch of salt, and water to cover by 1 inch. Add small pours of water to the pot, keeping them short of what looks wet, which will leave you with a creamy sauce that sticks to your noodles. allowed to poach in a rich, viscous bath of water and olive oil, never so much that they’re swimming, but never allowed to get dry.

Cook the beans for a half hour to forty-five minutes before you begin tasting them for doneness. Taste five beans when you think they’re done. If any bean is not totally velvety, let them go on cooking. When five taste completely creamy, lower the heat to almost off and grind the sauce heavily with fresh black pepper. Cook pasta in well-salted boiling water. Just before you drain it, remove a small glass of pasta water and stir a quarter of it to your pot of chickpeas. If they are still on low heat, the liquid should become integrated fairly quickly. Combine the pasta and chickpea sauce in a big bowl and mix well. If it seems dry, or like the chickpeas are separate from the pasta, instead of completely devoted to it, add a little more of the starchy pasta water to the bowl and mix well.


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