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Gigli with chickpeas and za’tar

Tuesday night, is now date night in our flat and this was my week’s contribution.

It is a recipe from Ottenlengh’s ‘Simple’.

I have to say, I’m sure they will become simple with time.

The ingredients are not too onerous and the method is pretty simple. It’s just the newness and the desire to get it ‘right’ that causes the resultant mental strain and makes it feel like it was this big kitchen task. However on reflection, it was pretty easy.

Ingredients

45mlolive oil, plus extra to serve
½onion, finely chopped (100g)
2garlic cloves, crushed
2 tspground cumin
10gthyme leaves, finely chopped
25ganchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped (about 7)
1lemon: finely shave the skin of ½, then juice to get 2 tbsp
2 x 400gtins of cooked chickpeas, drained (480g)
1 tspsoft brown sugar
400mlchicken stock
200ggigli pasta (or conchiglie or orecchiette)
50gbaby spinach leaves
15gparsley, roughly chopped
1½ tspza’atar
salt and black pepper

Method

1. Put the olive oil into a large sauté pan and place on a high heat. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, thyme, anchovies, lemon skin, ½ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Fry for 3–4 minutes, stirring often, until soft and golden. Reduce the heat to medium high, then add the chickpeas and sugar and fry for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas begin to brown and crisp up. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice and simmer for 6 minutes, until the sauce has reduced slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside. You can make this in advance, if you like, and warm through before serving.

2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and set aside.

3. Stir the spinach and parsley into the chickpeas: the residual heat of the sauce should cook the spinach, but if it doesn’t wilt, just warm the chickpeas gently on the stove. Transfer the pasta to the pan of chickpeas and stir to combine. Divide between four bowls and sprinkle the za’atar on top. Finish with a drizzle of oil, and serve.

Reference: Ottenlenghi, ‘Simple’

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