Conchiglie Rigate con Ceci e Finocchio
Region: Italy, Campania
Category: Pasta with Vegetables and Meat
Difficulty: Easy and Quick
The hollow of the ridged sea shells, a pasta called conchiglie rigate in Italian, captures the tiny bits of fennel as well as some of the chickpeas and teardrop tomatoes that naturally find their way into the shells. The result is an amalgam of flavors with each bite, the fennel providing a nice texture of crunchiness, while the basil, garlic, and anchovy enhance the flavor. They are what the Italians call an insaporiti (flavor enhancer).
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
4 salted anchovy fillets, rinsed
2 fennel, leaves from 2 stalks saved and 1 bulb finely chopped to amount to 1 cup
10 large basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
3 large garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces conchiglie rigate (sea shell pasta)
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 cup teardrop tomatoes or 8 cherry tomatoes, seeded and cut into small slivers
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Finely chop the anchovy, fennel leaves, basil leaves, and garlic together and transfer to a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of abundantly salted water to a boil and cook the conchiglie rigate. Five minutes before the pasta is al dente add the chickpeas. Drain well when the pasta is al dente.3. Pour the olive oil mixture into the pot you cooked the pasta in and add the pasta and chickpeas and toss well with the fennel and tomatoes. Pepper to taste and leave for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Serve without cheese.