Saturday, September 5, 2009

Indian Summer Rigatoni

This is a lovely, mellow mix of flavours. It is also very healthy, because the sauce is thickened through the pureed chickpeas. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil adds a lush smoothness. This is a good recipe for busy evenings; it is quick to whip up, but also great reheated.

1 can chickpeas, not drained
½ small red onion, roughly chopped
1 plump clove garlic, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon dry sage leaves or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh
1 cup chicken broth (can substitute veg broth)
Plenty of black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
300 grams (12 ounces) pancetta or bacon, cut into bite size pieces (optional)
60 grams (just a tad over 2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound pasta

1) Place a pot of salted water, covered on to boil.

2) Make the sauce: Dump the chickpeas, onion, garlic, sage and ½ of the chicken broth (save the other half for later) into a food processor and puree. Now pour this into a saucepan and place over medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer and keep it there, lightly bubbling while you cook the pancetta.

3) In a separate skillet, sauté the pancetta or bacon over medium heat until crisp, or to your liking. Drain on paper towels.

4) Dump the pasta in to cook. Now, drizzle a good glug of extra virgin olive oil into the chikpea sauce, stir and taste. Season with salt and black pepper. When the pasta is done, drain, then toss in a large bowl with the remaining ½ cup chicken broth and pour over the sauce. Toss, then add in the cooked pancetta and Parmesan cheese, toss well.

Serve with extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over and/or more Parmesan, if desired. Serves 6

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