Recipe: Pasta with parsley and chickpeas

01:39, Apr 08 2013
Pasta with parsley
PASS THE PARSLEY PASTA: Pasta with parsley, chickpeas and celery.

Make the most of those big bunches of parsley on sale at farmers' markets - or the stuff growing in your garden - in this fast pasta dish.

1 tsp fine sea salt, plus more for the cooking water
1 1/2 cups celery pieces, cut on the diagonal 1cm wide (first cut vertically if the ribs are especially wide)
220g dried pasta, preferably penne or another short, tubular shape
1/4 cup plus 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed, then chopped
2 small dried chillies, seeded and broken into small pieces (or 1 tsp chilli flakes)
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (if using canned, drain and rinse)
1/4 cup packed, coarsely chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt, then add the celery; cook/blanch for 1 or 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or Chinese skimmer to transfer the celery to a colander, and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Drain.

2. Once the water in the pot returns to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.

3. When the pasta is about five minutes from being al dente, heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic (to taste) and dried chillies; cook, stirring every minute or so, until the garlic is almost golden and the peppers are starting to brown. Stir in the blanched celery and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; it should be tender yet retain a little resistance. Stir in the chickpeas, season with the one teaspoon of salt and with black pepper to taste, and warm through.

4. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of its cooking water. Add the pasta, the parsley and a few tablespoons of the cooking water to the pan, stirring to incorporate the ingredients and dislodge any bits of garlic or peppers stuck to the bottom of the pan. If the mixture seems dry, add more of the reserved cooking water.

5. Ladle the mixture into individual wide, shallow bowls. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil over each portion. Serve right away, offering grinds of black pepper at the table.

5. Ladle the mixture into individual wide, shallow bowls. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil over each portion. Serve right away, offering grinds of black pepper at the table.

- Washington Post

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