Friday, July 19, 2013

Stozzapreti with Bok Choy, Chickpeas and Bacon

If you have leftover chickpeas from the Minestra Di Ceci, you can make this dish in ten minutes flat. A variation of Lidia Bastianich's Gramigna Al Verde Rustico, our Strozzapretti with Bok Choy, Chickpeas and Bacon was made on the fly and has everything you need in a well-balanced meal. Light and full of flavor, it is a perfect summer dish too.

Start by boiling your water for the pasta. We chose strozzapretti because it was the longest dry pasta that we could find in our pantry. Gramigna is a long elbow macaroni so, in theory, the standard elbows could work too. Once your water reaches a rolling boil, add your pasta. 

Meanwhile, add 3 tbsps of olive oil to your skillet. Warm over medium high heat and drop in one, small sliced shallot. (Three cloves of sliced garlic could work just as well.) Add four ounces of match-sticked bacon and stir about three minutes. Sprinkle in as many or as few red chili flakes as you'd like, a half tsp. should be the max, and incorporate. Now, add one cup of cooked chickpeas. Stir. Add three cups of sliced bok choy. (Lidia's recipe calls for spinach but bok choy was the closest thing that we could find in the fridge.) Toss and season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Check your pasta at this point. It should be al dente. If it is, drain the pasta but reserve a little more than a half cup of the water. Pour most of this in to the skillet and let everything simmer together for a few minutes. Now, drop the pasta in to the simmering skillet sauce. Toss it all together to makes sure all of the flavors and compoments infuse together. If the mixture is dry, add a little more pasta water. If it is too wet, turn up the heat and let the sauce reduce down. 

When it tastes ready, and as soon as possible, turn off the heat. Toss in one cup of grated parmigiano reggiano. Plate the pasta and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil. 

Buon appetito!

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