This recipe originated as a way for marathoners to carbo-load before the big race. I'm about as far away from running a marathon (or any race, for that matter) as my fat belly can take me. But that didn't stop me from trying the recipe. And thinking it was delicious. And wanting to eat more. I'm totally going to make this the next time I host a marathon runner (which wasn't that unusual when we lived in Boston). Or have fresh basil on hand. Or need a fast, tasty dinner.
Spaghetti with Chickpeas
(adapted from New York Magazine)
Serves 4 (or 2-3 marathoners)
1 can (15 ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
12 to 15 basil leaves, roughly torn
Salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces spaghetti
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
1) Set 1/3 cup of chickpeas aside. In a blender or food processor, combine remaining chickpeas with chicken stock and pulse until chickpeas are chopped to desired consistency.
2) Place a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; saute 30 second more, until fragrant.
3) Add chickpea mixture, tomatoes, and basil to onions and let simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4) While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook until al dente. Reserve up to one cup of pasta water and drain the rest.
5) Toss pasta with chickpea sauce and add reserved chickpeas. If you would like to thin the sauce, add about half of the reserved pasta water until evenly coated and heated through, about one minute. If sauce still feels too thick, use additional reserved water as needed. Adjust seasonings to taste, and toss with grated Parmesan. Garnish with additional Parmesan, if desired. Enjoy!