Monday, July 11, 2011

Orechiette with Chickpeas

Food is a huge part of my life and I am inspired all the time from lots of things and many people.  Since I started blogging I have added over 300 blogs to my reader most of which are blogs about food (I read some decorating blogs and some general life blogs as well).  I may not get to read through every single post each day but there are certain photos and recipes that stand out in my mind and of course tons of posts that are bookmarked and sorted into categories and stored in my trusty reader for when I get the urge to try one.  That's what happened with this recipe.  I first saw this recipe on  If you aren't familiar with Teanna and her recipes you must check her out!  The recipe she posted was for homemade orecchiette with chick peas.  I was originally really interested in the homemade orecchiette and saved it for a rainy day.  Then one day I watched Anne Burrell on the food network make a pureed chickpea sauce or soup ( I can't remember) and it made me think of this recipe.  I happened to have a package of dried orrechiette so I pulled up the recipe to check out the sauce that Teanna used.  Inspired by Anne Burrell, I decided that I wanted a thicker sauce so I pureed the veggies.  The result was a delicious pasta sauce studded with chick peas that rested perfectly in the little cup shape (or ear shape) of the orecchiette.  I think that next time I want this dish I will give it a try with canned chick peas.  As good as this was I felt that the chick peas were still a little hard and they cooked for even longer than the recipe stated.  After doing some research I found that my chickpeas could have just been old from sitting on the supermarket shelf for too long which will make them tough.  This may be a good use for the pressure cooker I never remember to use!

The original recipe for this dish can be found at epicurious or by clicking HERE.

Orechiette with Chickpeas
Adapted from Epicurious


1 bag of dried chickpeas, picked over
2 garlic cloves, left whole, plus 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 celery ribs, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
3/4 pound - 1 pound vine-ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup water or chicken stock (plus more as needed)
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 pound orrechiette

Soak chickpeas in water to cover by 2 inches overnight (8 hours) or quick-soak (see cooks' note, below), then drain.

Simmer chickpeas with whole garlic cloves and bay leaf in water to cover by 2 inches in a 4- to 5-quart pot, partially covered with lid, adding more water if necessary, until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Drain chickpeas and discard garlic and bay leaf.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook onion, celery, carrots, chopped garlic, red-pepper flakes (to taste), salt and pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 12 minutes. Add tomatoes, water or chicken stock, more salt and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender and sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree sauce.  If sauce is very thick or if you want more sauce add more liquid.  Add chickpeas and cook until tender. Stir in parsley and basil, adjust seasoning to taste.
Cook orrechiette in salted boiling water until al dente and toss with sauce. Again, if sauce is too thick just add more liquid (at this point pasta water or chicken stock can be used) Top with grated pecorino romano cheese.

This will feed an army!

Cooks' notes:

·You can substitute two 19-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed, for cooked dried ones.

·To quick-soak chickpeas, cover with water by 2 inches in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and cover, then soak 1 hour. Drain, discarding water.

·Chickpeas can be cooked 2 days ahead. Cool completely and chill (in cooking liquid), covered.

·Sauce, without parsley, can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat, stirring in parsley.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.


Ciao Chow Linda said...

There are so many iterations of pasta and beans and I think this looks like a great one, even if it's technically chickpeas and not beans.

Patti T. said...

A very interesting recipe. I love reading your blog.

Lizardman said...

Hi, just found your website. You cook like my mum!! I'm spanish (from the canary islands). Mum makes a similar dish to this one. She starts hers off with with a "sofrito" base: Fry onion, garlic, tomato, red capsicum and spanish paprika. She uses spaghetti for the pasta component.