This sauce is so rich and satisfying that you forget that it is vegetarian and quite healthy. I use homemade pappardelle, but any wide noodle or even lasagna noodles or any pasta of your choice will work just fine. With a salad and bread and wine and cheese, it's a lovely meal. Feel free to add more garlic and more chili pepper if you like.
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 dried chili
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, minced
- 12 basil leaves, torn
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or 1 and 1/2 cups of canned diced tomatoes)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb pasta, cooked al dente (1/4 cup of pasta cooking water reserved)
- Place all but 1/4 cup of the chickpeas in a food processor or blender, add one cup of water and process until smooth.
- Heat the olive oil with the chili pepper and the garlic in a one quart saucepan.
- Add the onion, parsley, basil and bay leaf; cook, stirring, about five minutes over medium heat.
- Add the whole chickpeas, tomatoes, salt and pepper; bring to a boil and simmer over low heat, covered, for thirty minutes, stirring at least every ten minutes.
- Add water if liquid reduces too much.
- Discard the bay leaf.
- When ready to serve, transfer the hot chickpea sauce to a heated bowl large enough to comfortably hold all the pasta.
- Dilute the sauce with 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water and fold in pasta.
- Serve and pass parmigiana and the grater.