This tagliatelle pasta with chickpeas and fiery Calabrian peppers is as delicious and spicy as it sounds. You can always control the amount of “heat” by using more or fewer chili peppers to suit your tastes. The amount of spice provided in this recipe will create a mildly spicy dish. Chickpeas may not be thought of as a combination with pasta. In the United States, it’s not a common combination at all.
However, this is a typical pasta combination in southern Italy. The region of Calabria (the toe of the boot) is known for its chili peppers and chickpeas with pasta recipes. My recipe here is a great way to enjoy the fiery taste of Calabrian chili peppers along with the classic southern combination of pasta and chickpeas. Your family will be greatly surprised as to what a tasty combination this pasta dish truly is.
Tagliatelle Pasta with Chickpeas and Fiery Calabrian Peppers
(serves 4-5 people)
- 7 ounces tagliatelle
- 3/4 lb dried chickpeas
- 1 small carrot, peeled and left whole
- 1/2 stalk of celery, washed and left whole
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed with the back of a knife
- 2 medium sprigs of rosemary roughly chopped
- 3 Calabrian peppers, chopped with the seeds
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Parmesean cheese
- 1-1/2 teaspoon Calabrese chili pepper
- salt to taste
- Rinse off the chickpeas and add them to a pot. Cover them with water by an inch and stir in the baking soda.
- Place them covered in your refrigerator for 24 hours or overnight.
- Drain the chickpeas and rinse them off.
- Add the chickpeas back to the pot and cover by an inch with fresh water.
- Add the carrot, celery, and bay leaves.
Tip: Leaving the carrot and celery whole will make it easier to remove them once the chickpeas are cooked.
- Place the pot of chickpeas over a medium-high flame and bring to a boil. Skim away any foam that might rise up to the surface.
- Reduce the heat and let the chickpeas simmer partly covered for one to one and a half hours.
Tip: The chickpeas are done once they are soft to the bite but still hold their shape.
- Reserve the cooked chickpeas aside.
- Now in a saute pan add the olive oil, and chopped Calabrian peppers, and saute until the garlic is slightly golden in color.
- Once the garlic becomes golden quickly add in the chopped rosemary and turn off the flame.
- Immediately pour all contents from the saute pan into the pot with the chickpeas and stir it in.
- Taste for seasoning.
Cooking the Tagliatelle and Finishing the Dish
- Boil a pot of salted water and add the tagliatelle.
- Add several ladles of the chickpeas with their tasty liquid to a saute pan and heat it up over medium heat.
- Reserve one cup of pasta water and drain the pasta 2-3 minutes before it is done.
- Add the pasta to the saute pan with the 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and toss well.
Tip: If there is not enough chickpea sauce to coat the pasta use some of the reserved pasta water. If there is plenty of liquid still in the pot of chickpeas use it and disregard the pasta water.
Firery Parmesan Cheese
- Combine the chili pepper with a cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Sprinkle a liberal amount over the finished dish and garnish the top with one Calabrian pepper.