Inspired heavily by the recipe in Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love, here is my version of a Chickpeas Cacio e Pepe. I used canned chickpeas to make this a quick dinner and added baby broccolini for a dash of color and just overall goodness.
The star of this dish is The Cheese Guy’s vegetarian Pecorino Romano - bright, salty, tangy and almost spicy. I know the recipe card says this supposed to be a side that serves four but we usually don’t get that far and enjoy it as a main for two :)
I hope you enjoy this dish. Stay tuned for a feature on…you guessed it - cheese(!) coming this weekend!
Chickpeas Cacio e Pepe (download recipe card here)
1 bunch [225g] baby broccolini
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
fine sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup +1 tsp [60ml] water, divided
1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp. butter
1 [14.5oz/400g] can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¾ cup [84g] grated Pecorino Romano (sub parmesan if you cannot find vegetarian pecorino)
2 tsp cracked black pepper plus more to taste
1 Tbsp. chopped marinated Calabrian chilis, for garnish
Step 1. Trim the ends of the broccolini and shave the stems if they are too woody. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add olive oil, garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add broccolini, sea salt to taste and a splash of water (careful as the oil may splatter). Mix well and cook, covered until the broccolini turns bright green and fork-tender, 3-5 minutes.
Step 2. Make a slurry out of cornstarch and 1 tsp water.
Step 3. Heat 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan on low heat until hot (not boiling). Add the cornstarch slurry and mix well. Add butter and chickpeas. When butter melts, add cheese and pepper, stirring continuously to make a thick creamy sauce that coats the noodles. Add more water as needed, 1 Tbsp. at a time, stirring continuously. This will take 4-5 minutes. Do a quick taste test and add salt to taste (the cheese is quite salty).
Step 4. Plate the dish - adding the broccolini into the chickpeas.
Garnish with Calabrian chilis and serve hot
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