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Chickpea Breadcrumb Pasta

Who doesn't have cans of garbanzo beans (fancy title=chickpeas) in their cupboard, waiting for some sort of creativity to hit. This is a yummy, comforting pasta dish that makes great use of these garbanzos - resulting in a creamy, Mediterranean tasting pasta dish. Always a hit.

Boil your noodles - I use 12 oz of medium size shell pasta - in salted water, for about 10 minutes - should be slightly al dente. Reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water (this has pretty much become a reflex for me as it more often than not comes in handy).

Prepare a breadcrumb topping - in a medium size saucepan, combine 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and about 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary. Cook over medium for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are toasty and golden brown, then season with salt and pepper. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

Using the same saucepan, still on medium heat, heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add in one whole red onion, chopped finely, along with 3 or 4 cloves of garlic and a teaspoon of dried oregano. Cook for about seven minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are cooked well. Stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, and let cook for about a minute. Throw in a can of garbanzo beans, liquid and all, along with a cup of chicken stock. Let come to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes. it should be a nice thick and golden sauce.

Stir the sauce, about 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, the one cup of pasta water, and 1/2 cup Pecorino-Romano (or some similar variation thereof) into the noodles. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve in pasta bowls, with some of your breadcrumbs sprinkled on top, with a bit more cheese, a few turns of fresh black pepper, and a slight drizzle of olive oil over the top.


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