Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chick Peas + Capers + Tomatoes + Pasta

I think everyone has a meal that they fall back on when they are in desperate need of hitting the grocery store/in a hurry/too tired to cook. For some, that meal is take-out, but for us it's an easy, fast pasta dish I came up with several years ago when I was faced with all the aforementioned scenarios at once.

To serve two or three people, this recipe only requires the four ingredients you see above:
  • 1/2 lb. of some kind of pasta--I prefer Barilla's campanelle or cellentani because both shapes have a lot of surface area that gets nicely coated with the light sauce this recipe produces;
  • 1 15 oz. can of chick peas;
  • 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, pre-seasoned with garlic, oregano and basil;
  • 2 tsp. of capers;
  • plus some olive oil (I actually use basil-infused grapeseed oil, but plain extra virgin olive oil works just fine as well), s&p, and cheese (if you so choose).

Start off by putting the pasta water on to boil as cooking the pasta takes the longest. Once the water is on, pour the can of tomatoes (do not drain off the juice--this is the basis for your sauce!) into a large skillet on medium-low heat. When the tomatoes reach a slow simmer, turn the heat to low, then add in the drained, rinsed chick peas and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. With about two minutes left on your cooking pasta, add the two teaspoons of capers (you can certainly add more if you like!). Drain your pasta, then toss it in the pan with the simmering sauce, drizzling in about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add a bit more salt & pepper to taste, then serve topped with shaved grana padano or shredded mozzarella.

The result is this hearty, glistening, majorly flavorful bowl of pasta, produced in less that 15 minutes. Give it a whirl next time your pantry is almost bare!

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