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Orecchiette with Chickpeas

October 22, 2008

I hate it when I buy carrots and celery for a dish and only use one each, then have the rest of the bags go to waste in the fridge- obviously I’m not a fan of celery and carrot sticks.  So this time when I bought them for the chili I made Sunday, I was determined to use them again in another dish.  This one that I adapted from Gourmet caught my eye months ago, but I couldn’t find orecchiette at the time.  Now the farmer’s market carries it, so i intend to use them as often as I can.  This dish is really fresh tasting and full of vegetables.  It’s going on my healthy meals list for when I’ve had a stint of bad eating.


2 T olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 medium onion or 1 shallot, finely chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, finely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 t dried hot red-pepper flakes

1/2 t fine sea salt, divided

1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes

1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained

1/2 cube vegetable bullion, optional

1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 lb box dried orecchiette

grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano


Cook orecchiette according to package directions and drain, reserving 1/2 c pasta water.  Meanwhile, heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet.  Add garlic, onion, carrots, celery, 1/2 t salt and red pepper flakes and saute until tender, about 12 minutes.  Add tomatoes and break into smaller pieces with the back of a spoon.  Add chickpeas and bullion and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.  Add reserved pasta water and cook to desired consistency.  Stir in parsley, taste for seasoning and remove from heat.  Combine sauce with cooked pasta and sprinkle with cheese.

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