Now I have put this in my soups categories, but it really is a cross between a soup and a pasta. Once cooked the first bowl you have, will be like a thick hearty soup, by the time you go for seconds, it has thickened up and is now a pasta.
Don't make this if you don't have parmesan cheese or pecorino cheese rinds in your fridge, as it won't be the same, the amount of flavour the cheese rinds add is amazing. Some delis now sell rinds, but I tend to always have them in my freezer.
Use any pasta shape you love, broken pappardelle is in the recipe, but I use any pasta shape that I feel like or have in my house at the time.
This is simple pantry cooking, but there is nothing simple about the flavour.
This is something I love, hope you do to.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
100g piece smoked pancetta or speck, cut into small pieces
1 large French shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
2-3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 piece of parmesan cheese or pecorino rind
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
500ml (2 cups) passata
200g dried egg pappardelle, coarsely broken with your hands (or any pasta shape)
1 small bunch cavolo nero, leaves stripped and coarsely chopped
grated pecorino, to serve
chilli oil (optional) or extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it starts to caramelise. Add the shallot, garlic and thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and cheese rind and season with a little salt. Add the passata and 400 ml water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until slightly reduced.
Add 2 cups of boiling water to the pan to ensure there’s enough liquid to cook the pasta straight in with the chickpeas. Bring to the boil, add the broken pappardelle and stir well so the pasta doesn’t stick. Cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add the cavolo nero and simmer until the pasta is cooked. You will notice that the soup thickens as the pasta cooks. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Let the soup stand for a few minutes before serving to allow the starch from the pasta to thicken it a little or eat it straight away if you like it a bit soupier. A generous sprinkling of grated pecorino cheese and drizzle of chili oil (or extra virgin olive oil) is highly recommended.
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