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Pasta and Chickpeas

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For this pasta e ceci, adapted from The flavors of Sicily (Clarkson Potter), Anna Tasca Lanza uses soaked dried chickpeas cooked with garlic, celery, onion, carrot and rosemary. Canned chickpeas are just as good and much quicker.

  1. 4 cups drained canned chickpeas
  2. 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  3. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  4. 1 pound red Swiss chard, stems sliced 1/4 inch thick, leaves cut into 1-inch ribbons
  5. 1/4 pound spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  6. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  7. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. In a food processor, puree 3 cups of the chickpeas with the chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Transfer the puree to a large saucepan, add the remaining chickpeas and season with salt and pepper. Add the chard stems and cook over low heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the leaves and simmer until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Add salt and the spaghetti. Cover partially until the water just returns to a boil, then uncover, stir the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid, and add the pasta to the chickpeas. Add some of the reserved cooking water if the stew is too thick. Serve in shallow soup plates, drizzled with the oil and sprinkled with parsley.


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