This hearty pasta dish is from Andrew Carmellini's Urban Italian. The ingenious ingredient here is the chickpea puree, which gives the sauce a wonderful creaminess. The method might seem like a lot of dishes to dirty for just one pasta dish, but this pasta is plenty rich to stand on its own without any side dishes. It is well worth the dish cleaning effort it requires.
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb. spicy Italian Sausage
- 3 cups of your favorite homemade tomato sauce (a simple preparation containing only tomatoes, salt, basil, and oil is all that is necessary. Do not use a store bought sauce.)
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed, ground
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, cleaned and trimmed
- 1 lb. rigatoni
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
- Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid. Place half of the chickpeas and all of the liquid in the bowl of a food processor and puree.
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Remove the sausage from its casing and place in sauce pan. Cook until well browned, using the back of the spoon to break up the meat.
- Add the tomato sauce, chickpea puree, and fennel seed to the pan. Simmer until the thickened slightly, about fifteen minutes (the sauce should still have a liquid quality to it).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the broccoli rabe to the boiling water and blanch for about 90 seconds. Immediately remove with a slotted spoon and place in ice water.
- Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat two tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the broccoli rabe, garlic, red pepper flakes, and remaining chickpeas to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or two. Remove all ingredients with a slotted spoon and add to sausage and tomato mixture.
- Once pasta is cooked, drain the water and place the pasta back into the pot. Add the sausage and tomato mixture and stir to coat the pasta.
- Add the butter and cheese and stir until butter is melted. Serve immediately.