by Caitlin Saniga
- 1/2 pound orecchiette
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup drained canned chickpeas, patted dry (If you don’t make sure their at least pretty much dry, they cause quiet a stir when you add them to the hot oil. Water and hot oil don’t mix.)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 pound Swiss chard, stemmed and leaves coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 8 basil leaves, torn
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a medium, deep skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until simmering. Add the chickpeas and cook over high heat until crisp, 4 minutes. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle with the cumin and coriander and season with salt and pepper. Discard the oil, and wipe out the skillet.
Add the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add the chard and cook, stirring, until wilted, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the pasta and reserved cooking water to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring until incorporated. Add the mozzarella and basil and toss. Spoon the pasta into bowls, sprinkle with the chickpeas and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe: Food & Wine
Photo: Caitlin Saniga