Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
Cucina Povera is an Italian cooking philosophy that focuses on as little food waste as possible, and this dish is a prime example of how inventive dishes can be with bare-bones ingredients. Cicerie e Tria is a classic dish from Puglia in southern Italy, focusing on two main components: pasta and chickpeas!
Classically, this dish features a mix of boiled and fried pasta for textural differences. In order to simplify the dish, we gave it the Giadzy spin and cut out the frying portion and opted for canned chickpeas in place of dried. The result? A divinely creamy, cheesy pasta with loads of southern Italian flavor from lemon, Calabrian chili paste and rosemary, all with a hearty bite from chickpeas.
It stars all the bright fresh flavors of a coastal Italian dish, while feeling comforting and homey all at once.
Apulian Chickpea Pasta
- 1 pound spaghetti chitarra pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to finish
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
- 1 15.5ounce can chickpeas, drained and the liquid reserved
- 1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more to serve
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano, plus more to serve
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 a lemon
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season generously with salt. Add the pasta to the water and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions, about 10 minutes. This should be about perfect timing to add it directly to the pan
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the pan and heat an additional 30 seconds or until the oil shimmers and moves freely. To the hot oil add the shallots, garlic and salt. Cook stirring often until the vegetables are soft and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the drained chickpeas to the pan and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Mash a few of the chickpeas with the back of a fork to break them apart. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Cook until the white wine is almost entirely reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chili paste and 1/2 cup of reserved chickpea liquid. Discard the remaining liquid. Simmer for another 2 minutes.
- When the pasta is barely al dente, use tongs to remove the pasta directly from the water to the pan with the chickpeas. Add about 3/4 cup of pasta water to the pan with the pasta. Sprinkle the cheese over the bare pasta and toss well to coat. Continue to toss and cook the pasta in the liquid until a creamy sauce has formed that clings to the pasta, about 2 minutes. You may need to add another 1/4 cup of pasta water if the sauce gets too tight or if the pasta needs it to finish cooking. Add the rosemary, lemon juice and another drizzle of olive oil. Toss well to combine. Serve with additional cheeses and olive oil if desired.