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Pasta with Chickpeas, Sweet Peppers, and Rosemary

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Serves 6

  • To learn more, read:
    Pot O'Gold
  • by Melissa Pellegrino from Fine Cooking
    Issue 126

While the exact recipe changes with the region, this classic dish of chickpeas, pasta, and rosemary is served throughout central and southern Italy; a drizzle of aromatic rosemary-chile oil finishes the dish to delicious effect. If you don’t have a Parmigiano-Reggiano rind for making the sauce, shave some cheese over the pasta before serving.

  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into small dice (3/4 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into small dice (3/4 cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2-1/2 cups Chickpeas with Bay Leaves and Herbs, plus 1-1/4 cups reserved cooking liquid
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 3- to 4-inch piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (optional)
  • 1 lb. dried tubetti lisci, tubetti rigati, or pennette
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings (optional)

Heat 3 Tbs. of the oil with the rosemary and red pepper flakes in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat until shimmering, 1 to 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Heat the remaining 3 Tbs. oil and the garlic in a 6-quart pot over medium heat, turning the garlic occasionally, until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes; discard the garlic. Add the peppers and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and brown in spots, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and, using the back of a spoon, gently mash some of them against the side of the pot. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid, the tomatoes, cheese rind, if using, and 1/2 cup water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded, about 20 minutes. (The sauce should be thin but have body. Add the remaining 1/2 cup cooking liquid as needed.)

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta water and drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the chickpea sauce and cook, tossing gently, until the flavors meld, about 2 minutes. Add pasta water as needed to keep the consistency loose. Season to taste with salt. Discard the cheese rind, if used. Serve drizzled with the rosemary oil and topped with Parmigiano shavings, if you like.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 530; Fat (g): 17; Fat Calories (kcal): 150; Saturated Fat (g): 2.5; Protein (g): 17; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): 78; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 500; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 9;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Just by reading the recipe I knew it needed more ingredients so I added quite a bit more peppers, all colors, red, yellow and orange. I also added finely julienned carrots and asparagus cut thin so that they would cook evenly. I feel that without these added veggies, the recipe would have have dull. Turned out to be a hit! I've made it twice now

Made this for dinner tonight and was in kind of a rush so I forgot to drizzle the rosemary oil on top. It was still delish! Tried a bit with the oil on after and it was even better. I used whole wheat penne as that was what I had, and added some sliced Italian sausages. I cut the recipe in half and was still enough for 4 portions. Simple ingredients and very inexpensive. Will make again!

not tons of flavor -perhaps more peppers - did add chicken broth

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