Gomiti con Ceci e Finocchio
Region: Italy, Campania
Category: Pasta with Vegetables and Meat
Difficulty: Easy and Quick
This typical preparation of the Campanian countryside is made with elbow macaroni and tiny bits of fennel tossed with chickpeas and teardrop tomatoes. 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. This dish could be described as pasta with salsa cruda (raw sauce) because its uncooked.
[photo: Clifford A. Wright]
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 elbow macaroni
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 pasta. 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 now empty 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.