Serves 4 to 6
This is one of those so-called poor recipes from Calabria that use just a few ingredients to make a tasty nutritious meal. It is a recipe that can be stretched from a pasta dish to a soup by adding some water and a bit more of the condiments, especially when your dining crowd increases. Either way, it is delicious.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 2 or 3 whole dried Calabrian chiles
- 8 ounces dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for working the dough
- 2 large whole eggs
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
To make the chickpeas, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crispy on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes or chiles, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden on the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the drained chickpeas and enough cold water to cover the chickpeas by about 2 inches. Then add the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs, and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook until the chickpeas are tender, about 1 hour. Discard the bay leaves.
To make the lagane, put the flour in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to aerate. In a spouted measuring cup, combine the eggs, olive oil, and 1/3 cup cold water. Beat with a fork to combine.
With the processor running, pour the egg mixture through the feed tube and process until the dough forms a ball around the blade. If the dough doesn’t begin to form a ball after about 15 seconds, add a little more flour (if it is too wet) or water (if it is too crumbly) and process until you get a ball. Once the ball forms, process about 30 seconds to get a smooth and homogeneous dough.
Dump the dough onto the counter, and knead a few times to make a completely smooth ball of dough that springs back when pressed. Wrap the dough in plastic, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. (The dough can also be made a day ahead, wrapped, and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before proceeding.)
To roll the pasta, cut the ball of dough into 6 pieces. Keep the pieces covered as you work, and line several baking sheets with floured kitchen towels.
Flatten each piece, then roll it through the widest setting of a pasta machine several times, folding like a letter (rectangle) each time to smooth and strengthen the dough. Once you have a smooth rectangle, continue to roll the pieces through each setting, stopping at the next-to-last setting. Lay the pieces, without touching, on the floured towels.
Cut the pieces into thirds. Roll lengthwise and cut into strands about 3/4-to-1-inch thick (slightly thicker than pappardelle). Dust the strands of pasta with flour and form into loose nests on the floured baking sheets.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta. Transfer the chickpeas and enough cooking liquid just to cover them to a large skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, just about 2 minutes after the water returns to a boil. Transfer the pasta to the sauce with a spider and tongs. Drizzle with olive oil and add the parsley. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce, adding a little more chickpea cooking liquid if it seems dry. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the grated cheese, toss, and serve.