2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 whole dried hot pepper, piri piri if available
1 sprig rosemary
1 medium white onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 15-ounce cans imported chickpeas
1 pound fresh or dried whole wheat spaghetti, or tonnarelli, if available
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, or as needed
Flaky salt (such as fleur de sel or Maldon) and coarsely ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, or as needed
2 tablespoons Japanese bonito flakes.
1. Place a large pot filled with lightly salted water over high heat to bring to a boil.
2. Place a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add olive oil, swirling it to coat the bottom. Reduce heat to low, add garlic, and cook it slowly until tender and golden, about 15 minutes. Add hot pepper, rosemary, onion, carrot, and celery and toss to coat well with oil. Raise heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 15 minutes.
3. Discard rosemary and garlic. Add 1 can of chickpeas with the liquid from the can. Drain the second can, reserving the liquid. Add those chickpeas to the saucepan along with one can of water. Raise heat to medium-high and cook until liquid in pan is reduced by half. Discard hot pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm.
4. In the boiling water, cook the pasta until almost done, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and add to saucepan of chickpeas and vegetables. Cook the pasta in the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes, then add butter. If the mixture seems dry, add a bit of the reserved liquid from the chickpeas. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
5. To serve, place the pasta in a deep, warmed, platter. Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Dust with Parmigiano Reggiano, and sprinkle with bonito flakes. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings.