1. After reading this great post from Luisa on A Cup of Jo, Matt and I had a semi-serious conversation about moving to Germany.
2. I want to say thank you for all the lovely comments I get here on the site, especially back when my grandma and dad died. I'm saying this now because I recently went back to those posts and reread some of the messages and realized that I hadn't written back to most of them individually. Point being, thank you. I always love reading what you guys have to say!
OK, that's it for now. I hope you all laughed at Teddy's ambitious army-crawling across the kitchen floor in the above video as much as I did.
Pasta with Chickpeas, Parmesan, and Parsley
For the chickpeas:
NOTE: This makes about 3 cups of cooked beans, which is more than enough for the pasta, so you have extra to either purée for baby food or hummus or to simply reserve to add to a salad.
1 1/3 cup dry chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
2 tablespons kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled and halved
8-10 garlic cloves
1/2 yellow onion, halved
NOTE number two: 1 dried arbol chile and/or a halved celery stalk would be great to add to the cheesecloth bundle too
Drain the chickpeas and put them in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover them by 1 1/2 inches. Add the salt and the olive oil. Place the carrot, garlic, and onion in a double piece of cheesecloth and tie it into a closed bundle with kitchen twine. Add the bundle to the pot with the chickpeas and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the chickpeas until they are very tender and creamy, about 2 hours, adding more water to the pot as needed but never covering them by more than an inch to an inch and a half. (Cooking them in just enough water yields richer-tasting, creamier beans than if you were to just boil them in tons of water.) (Note: the time will vary greatly depending on how long you soaked the beans and how old the beans are; the time could be anywhere from 1 hour to as long as 4.)
Turn off the heat and allow the chickpeas to cool in the cooking liquid. Remove and discard the cheesecloth bundle. The chickpeas can be prepared to this point up to a week in advance. If you are using the chickpeas now, drain them, reserving the cooking liquid to use in the pasta. To use both later, transfer the chickpeas and the cooking liquid to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to use. Bring the chickpeas to room temperature and drain them before using.
For the chickpea pasta:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
the reserved chickpea broth from the above recipe (I ended up with about 1 1/4 cups)
6-7 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth (Between the chickpea broth and chicken broth, you want to end up using about 8 cups total, so if you're using canned chickpeas, just use 8 cups of chicken broth)
1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 pound angel hair pasta (or thin spaghetti)
approx. 2 cups cooked chickpeas from above recipe (or of course, you can substitute with canned chickpeas)
1 heaping cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
plenty of grated Parmesan
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the broths, the crushed red pepper, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil.
Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until the broth is nearly absorbed and the pasta is al dente. Turn off the heat. Stir in the chickpeas and parsley.
Divide among individual bowls and top with a few tablespoons of Parmesan.