Sunday, January 2, 2011

Food flashback—Carb loading Spaghetti with Chickpeas

Back in November, before my 30K aka 22.5 mile trail run, I carb loaded with this Spaghetti with Chickpeas dish from Smitten Kitchen. It rocked!
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Click through to the original recipe. I made it pretty much the same, except I reduced the olive oil lots and I also cut down a lot on the amount of pasta I used. That did achieve the objective mentioned in the post of making proportionally more sauce.
Spaghetti with Chickpeas [Spaghetti con Ceci] adapted from Smitten Kitchen

15 ounces can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken stock (or more as needed)
Extra-virgin olive oil as needed (the recipe calls for 5 tablespoons, are you kidding me? One tablespoon should be plenty)
1/2 cup pancetta, diced (a little shy of 2 ounces)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (or several spoonfuls jarred chopped garlic)
Pinch chile flakes
1 14-ounce can tomatoes, chopped (I used fire-roasted)
10 to 15 basil leaves (chiffonaded)
Salt to taste
Barilla Plus spaghetti (I used 6 ounces/3 servings)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Set 1/3 cup of chickpeas aside.

In a food processor (I have a mini-version), combine remaining chickpeas with chicken stock and pulse a few times until chickpeas are chopped.

Place a large pot over medium heat and add a little olive oil (1-2 teaspoons) plus olive oil spray oil and diced pancetta. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned. You can put a piece of foil over the pot to minimize splatters. Add onions, garlic, and chile flakes (with a little more oil, another teaspoon, if needed). Continue cooking until onions and garlic are translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add chickpea mixture, tomatoes, and basil, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt. While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook until al dente, or tastes like it could use an additional minute’s cooking time. Reserve one cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Toss pasta with chickpea sauce, reserved chickpeas and half of the reserved pasta water until evenly coated and heated through, about one minute. Add more of the reserved pasta water if needed.

I recommend serving on a big bed of raw spinach and topping with grated Parmesan (1/2 ounce grated with a microplane is a nice amount). I estimated that 1/3 of this (which is a very generous serving) would have about 525 calories.

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