Maltagliati with chickpeas is a very old recipe from the paesant tradition of southern Italy. It’s food for the very poor, however it’s very nutrient, because of its high protein content. In my family maltagliati with chickpeas was a weekly rendezvous: every Monday, after the Sunday’s feast of meat and heavy eating. My mum used to prepare it the old way, with pork rind instead of the bacon, when she had it. Very few poor ingredients, coming together to create a very tasty dish: scraps left over from pasta making, chickpeas, and sometimes pork rind. There are many recipes for pasta with chikpeas, according to the family’s tradition: some uses tomato sauce, some doesn’t use a battuto (chopped carrot, celery, and onion), some doesn’t use garlic. All versions are delicious. The recipe I propose here is the one of the oldest, since it doesn’t contain tomatoes (remember that tomato is a plant native of America, and was imported in Europe only in the 15th century). Try the version you like best. You can start with this one, and then decide!
Ingredients for 4 portions:
250gr of boiled chickpeas
300gr of maltagliati pasta
100 gr of pancetta or lardons (facultative)
1 celery stalk
2 garlic cloves
500ml of vegetables
1/2 tsp of dry thyme
2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
- Finely chop the onion, the celery, the carrot, and the garlic cloves. Gently warm the olive oil on low heat, then add the chopped vegetables, and sweat them for 10 minutes.
- Raise the heat to medium-high, and -if using- add the pancetta. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the chickpeas, and saute for another 5 minutes. Stirn in the thyme, then pour the vegetable stock. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the pasta, stirring well to make sure that it is completely covered by the stock. If necessary, add some more stock. The pasta has to be covered, but be careful not to drown it in stock.
- Raise the heat to medium, and cook until the pasta is ready. It might take up to 12 minutes, depending on the pasta used. Don’t forget to stir often: minestre tend to stick to the pan very quickly. Add more stock if required.
- Serve your maltagliati with chickpeas immediately.
If you have the rind of parmesan or pecorino romano, add it to the pot when adding the stock: it will give extra flavour to the dish. Do not forget to remove it before serving.
If you use canned chickpeas, make sure to rinse them several times, to remove all the salt that has been used to store them.
Maltagliati is a pasta that literally means “badly cut”, and it is usually created with the scraps left over from making other pasta. You can make your own malatgliati using leftover uncooked lasagna sheets: just cut them with a pastry wheel, making irregular shapes of about 1-2 cm side.
Store your maltagliati with chickpeas in an airtight container, in the fridge, for a maximum of 24 hours.