I have the tendency to go a wee bit overboard when ordering food products online. In an effort to justify the shipping costs (or in an effort to get shipping for free), I often times find myself purchasing more then I may need (I'm exceptionally economical). This explains how I ended up with 10 pounds of oats from Anson Mills (we are almost done!), enough Soom tahini to make several gallons of hummus, and most recently, 9 pounds of beans from Rancho Gordo.
The thing I like most about all of these newfangled heirloom ingredient websites is that they include recipes. When dealing with new varieties of an ingredient, it's possible that they may behave differently then your run of the mill supermarket brand (longer cooking times etc.) Having a recipe specifically created for that variety and being able to use it as a point of reference is incredibly helpful. I personally love the recipes because the people making them know their product and they know how to make that product shine in a dish.
There is something about the simpliciity of this pasta dish that I just love. It's not revolutionary in the slightest and you definitely don't need Anson Mills chickpeas for it (though I do love their chickpeas) but it's an incredibly satisfying one-pot meal for this werid in-between March weather we are currently experiencing.
Pasta con Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)
Recipe from Rancho Gordo
2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Garbanzos
1 cup cooking liquid from the garbanzos
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large sage leaves (I omitted since I didn't have any on hand)
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for serving)
4 ounces pancetta, in small strips
4 cups fresh spinach, stemmed and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 ounces pasta
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated, for serving
Heat olive oil in a large pot over a medium low heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and pancetta and gently cook for about 10 minutes. The pancetta will start to brown. Stir in the spinach and toss so that the hot oil covers each leaf. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the spinach wilts. Add the garbanzos, the cooking liquid and stir. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and then add to the garbanzo mixture. Test for salt.
Serve in bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and allow guests to add the Parmesan cheese.