Pappardelle with Pancetta and Chickpea Passatina
MAKE THE PASTA DOUGH
- 10 oz “00” flour (available online at King Arthur Flour labeled as “Italian-style flour,” kingarthurflour.com)*
- 7 oz durum wheat flour (available online at King Arthur Flour, kingarthurflour.com)
- 3 eggs
- 7 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
*Gallante suggests that you weigh your flours rather than measure by volume.
Combine the ingredients and mix either by hand or in a stand mixer until they are fully incorporated. Let the dough rest for 2 hours. After the dough has rested, you can either roll it out by hand into thin sheets (or to your desired thickness), or run it through a pasta machine, if you have one. Sheets measuring 6” x 12” are ideal. Cut these into 1½” x 6” strips with a ribbed pasta cutter. Set aside.
MAKE PANCETTA AND CHICKPEA PASSATINA
- ¼ pound dry chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
- pinch of baking soda
- 1 fresh bay leaf or 2 dried
- 1 rosemary sprig
- ¼ lb pancetta (two fat slices)
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 4 cups water
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 celery stalk, cut into fourths
- ¾ tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into fourths
- ½ cup olive oil, plus more to garnish
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to garnish
One day before you plan to make the pasta, soak the dried chickpeas in a large bowl of water to which you’ve added a pinch of baking soda. Set aside. On the following day, nestle the bay leaf and rosemary sprig in a square of cheesecloth and tie it with butcher’s twine to make a sachet. Set aside. Cut the pancetta into ½” cubes. Add to a saucepan with the canola oil and cook over low heat to render the fat. Remove the pancetta to a bowl, and pour off half of the rendered fat into a separate bowl. (When it’s cool, discard it.) Add the tomato paste to the pan, and fry it in the reserved pancetta fat until it begins to stick, about 2 minutes. (According to Gallante, caramelizing the tomato paste “lays down a flavor base for the sauce.”) Add the water, chicken stock, onion, garlic, celery, salt, the sachet, and the soaked chickpeas. Simmer for 3 to 4 hours, or until the chickpeas are very soft. When done, the liquid should still cover the chickpeas by an inch; if not, add equal parts chicken stock and water to bring it to that level.
Strain the chickpeas and vegetables, reserving the stock (but discarding the sachet). Set aside one quarter of the chickpeas for garnish and purée the rest, along with the vegetables, in a blender. Add enough of the cooking liquid to the blender to create the consistency of heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pass the mixture through a sieve into a wide saucepan, pressing on the solids in the sieve with the back of a ladle to squeeze out all of the sauce. Add the cooked pancetta. Heat the sauce, and then whisk in the ½ cup of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the reserved whole chickpeas. Set aside.
FINISH THE DISH
Bring a large amount of water to a boil, add salt (it should be as saline “as seawater,” says Gallante), and then add the pasta and give it a stir. Cook until just tender to the bite. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, and then drain the pasta. Pull out ½ cup of the finished chickpea sauce; depending on the volume of the cooked pasta, you may not need it all. Add to the sauce, dribbling in the reserved chickpea cooking water as needed to make a creamy mixture that easily coats the pasta. Add the grated cheese and toss. Serve garnished with a swirl of olive oil and a little more grated cheese.