Pasta w/ Chickpeas, Anchovies & Crumbs
Is it Monday? No, but I am making a vegetarian dish again.....sorry carnivores.
This is my new favorite easy weeknight dinner.
I had all the staples in my pantry and the parsley is still alive on the driveway, so I was all set.
Since it is getting darker earlier now, my photos will not be as fabulous (as if), so I apologize in advance for the next few months, you will be seeing real dinner time photos, no studio here. :)
Please make homemade breadcrumbs for this recipe.
It's easy. Take some good quality bread that has gone stale and pulse it in a food processor when you have absolutely nothing else to do.
Place the crumbs in large containers and freeze them. You will be so happy you did this later on. I added the herbs from the last of the garden and have a large stash for the lean months ahead (yeah, because it's so difficult to find bread in the winter?).
If you are an anchovy hater, then skip this recipe, because the anchovies are an important ingredient here. I have spoken.
Pasta w/ Ceci, Anchovies & Breadcrumbs (adapted from Canal House Cooking Italian):
1 can of chickpeas (ceci), rinsed and drained
5 whole anchovies (I use the kind in the jar)
big shake of hot red pepper flakes
2 big cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 box (8 oz.) pasta shells or orechiette
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3/4 cup of toasted fresh breadcrumbs
handful of fresh chopped parsley
Toast up the breadcrumbs in a skillet w/ olive oil for a few minutes, and set aside.
While the pasta is boiling, make your sauce.
In a large skillet, big enough to hold the pasta, heat olive oil, anchovies, garlic, hot pepper flakes and tomato paste on medium heat for 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant and anchovies are dissolved.
Add chickpeas and coat with the oil. Season with salt & pepper.
Add fresh parsley and turn off the heat. Set aside.
Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the chickpea mixture in the skillet. Throw in the breadcrumbs and give a toss.
This was easy and excellent.
(*PS I was just informed in the comment section by my friend Dana, that anchovies are NOT vegetarian....oops, I knew that!, so I guess we can forget about the Meatless Wednesday post!....make it anyway!).
The anchovies in the jar are usually salt cured (preserved in salt) and last a good long time (unlike the canned ones). I like the ones from Sicily, but they are pricey.
Yes, the anchovies actually MELTS in a second or two, as soon as it hits the hot oil. Try it!
I knew that! xo