AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Chicken Ragu and Chick Pea Pasta DATE: 9/15/2008 09:44:00 AM ----- BODY:

I’m not sure I fully understand, but I always love a party! Psychgrad over at Equal Opportunity Kitchen is hosting “Presto Pasta Night.” Presto Pasta Nights is a blog that features all forms of the beloved noodle – fresh, dried, wheat, rice, if it’s a pasta…. Ruth writes about it. And every week there’s a round-up of what other people are making. It’s a great inspiration if you’re looking for new recipes for pasta.

Sage continues to proliferate in my garden. I have so much that I’m on the verge of knocking on restaurant kitchen doors to see if I can sell them some. I donated one gallon of leaves to the Locavore Banquet (that’s part of the Energy Smackdown) and still the plants look as lush as ever. I could make a pasta with fried sage and parmesan, but that just doesn’t seem festive enough for a party… especially since I’ve seen the way Psychgrad throws a party. Instead, I opt for Chicken Ragu with Chick-Pea Papardelle. The chicken is seasoned with sage, tomatoes and cinnamon. The pasta dough is made with a blend of all-purpose flour and chickpea flour.

¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup diced onion
¾ cup diced celery
¼ pound bacon, diced
¼ cup flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
4 – 5 chicken thighs
1 cup dry white wine
2 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
2 tomatoes, diced
1 tbs. fresh sage, chopped
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ pound grated Pecorino romano or parmigiano reggiano.
1 tbs. fresh chopped parsley

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, dust with flour.

2. Heat a large skillet, add oil, and then the vegetable. Cook for a few minutes, or until soft. Add the bacon and continue cooking until bacon renders its fat.

3. Remove the vegetable, and set aside. Turn the heat to high and add the chicken. Brown on both sides.

4. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add the vegetables back to the pan, along with the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the Pecorino and parsley. Cook covered for about 20 minutes, or until the meat is tender.

5. Shred the meat and continue cooking, uncovered until the sauce is reduced and thick

6. Serve with Pasta. Sprinkle cheese and parsley on top.

Chick Pea Pasta Dough
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus ¼ cup for dusting
½ cup chick pea flour
2 -3 large eggs as needed
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt

1. Sift flours onto a clean counter. Make a well in the flour, and add the eggs, olive oil and the salt.

2. Beat the eggs with a fork, gradually bringing in the flour from the sides of the well, until the paste has thickened enough so the liquid will not run onto the counter. Switch from a fork to a pastry cutter. Bring all the flour into the already wet part and cut through the dough several times until it is evenly moistened. Start kneading with your hands until the dough forms a ball and looks homogenized, about 8 minutes.

3. If the dough becomes stiff, and refuses to bend, rub in a little of the remaining egg. If the dough becomes too moist, add a bit of the flour.
Work the dough by machine:

4. Divide the dough into 3 balls, and let rest under a damp towel for 20 minutes. (This is a good time to make the rest of the recipe). Start working the dough through the pasta machine starting with the widest setting. After running it through the machine, fold it into thirds, and run it through again. When the dough is smooth, run the dough through the machine through successively smaller settings. The dough will stretch out, and be rolled very thin.

5. When you have achieved thin sheets, you can let the dough rest for a few minutes before filling or cutting.

6. Cook in a pot of salted, boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and toss with sauce.

Thanks to David for taking pictures!

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Psychgrad DATE:9/15/2008 04:35:00 PM Wow - I was impressed with the original picture you e-mail me, but now I'm just blown away. Absolutely beautiful!

You've got the jist of Presto Pasta Night. Ruth is the originator, but this year has started to arrange guest hosts for every second week. I'll post the roundup on my site, this Friday.

Thanks for joining the party! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:9/16/2008 08:06:00 PM PG - Thanks! And I'm glad I got the jist right. I got a little carried away, and prepared to more pasta dishes... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger kittie DATE:9/20/2008 01:08:00 PM I love the idea of chickpea pasta - why didn't I think of that!!

Gorgeous dish, and a gorgeous photo! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:9/20/2008 06:54:00 PM Hi Kittie, The chick pea pasta was one of those fluke discoveries -- I had meant to make regular pasta but just as I was getting organized, I realized I didn't have semolina. So I used chick pea flour in its stead. It came out terrific, with a lovely nutty flavor. It's great for the heartier pasta dishes. ----- --------