Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pasta with Garbanzo Beans, Chorizo, and Bread Crumbs

Mark Bittman's blog at NY Times, Bitten, has become one of my go-to places for weeknight dinner ideas. Although I love to cook, I haven't had much time to explore the kitchen lately. I am tackling data analysis for my Master's thesis; I think I have made 100+ graphs in the last 2 days.
But, overworked or not, I still love to cook. This article came across my feed reader yesterday describing a recipe for pasta with garbanzo beans, chorizo, and bread crumbs. It sounded great and Antonia was on board, so tonight I made it.

Pasta with Garbanzo Beans, Chorizo, and Bread Crumbs
by Mark Bittman

salt and pepper
olive oil
1/4 lb cooked chorizo sausage (I used two fresh sausages from Nugget Market)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (hooray for the food processor)
4 cups cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans with their liquid (I used two cans, one drained, one not drained)
1/2 lb cut pasta (I used 1 lb. large shells)
chopped parsley (None in the fridge, I used dried parsley)

Since I started with fresh, uncooked sausage, I had to cook the sausage first. I did this on a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the sausages were cooked, I set them aside. In the same skillet, I added 1 tbsp olive oil and added the garlic. I gave it a 1-2 minute hot oil bath and just as it started to change color from yellow to gold, I added the bread crumbs.

The pan was turned down to medium-low and the crumbs were stirred until they turned a deep deep gold, almost brown proper. I didn't let them burn, but they were teetering on the edge. I find the best cooking-derived flavor (as opposed to ingredient-derived flavor) comes when the food is balanced on the edge of browning and .... more than browning. Once the bread crumbs were done, I put them aside.
Sausage and bread crumbs

After letting the sausage cool a bit, I cut it up and gave it another run in the pan, just to make sure the insides were cooked.

Cooking is very relaxing for me, despite what people who have been around me when I cook will say. The serenity of cooking is furthered by some music (I listened to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde) and a glass of wine. I am down to my last few bottles of Rd 29, so this was a treat to myself.

Road 29, almost the end

Next, the pasta water is boiled and salted, and the pasta goes in.

Pasta in the pot

While the pasta is boiling, the garbanzo beans went into a large skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil. One of the cans of beans was drained, the other was not. While they simmered with the olive oil, they received a dusting of salt, pepper, and dried parsley.

Simmer beans

When the pasta is maybe 2 or 3 minutes from being ready, drain it out of the water and add it to the garbanzo beans to finish cooking with the sauce. This will let the flavors of the sauce soak into the pasta, as well as have the starch from the pasta thicken the sauce.

Mix pasta with garbanzo beans

After the pasta is cooked through (sample prodigiously while cooking; it is bar-none the best perk of spending time in the kitchen) add the chorizo and toss (carefully).

Add Sausage

Tossing the pasta

It's done! Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture and eat.

Thank you, Mr. Bittman.


Anonymous said...

This looks good, especially since I've always got garbanzo's around. I'm trying this one.

Anonymous said...

Garbanzo beans are one of my favorite things in the world. This pasta look absolutely perfect!