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Tagliatelle with chickpeas and dried peppers

  • 1 hour
  • Easy
  • First Courses
A rustic pasta dish to be eaten during the cold days of winter.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • lb all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 7 oz chickpeas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 bell peppers, dried, in extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Soak the chickpeas in cold water for 12 hours.

Drain the chickpeas and transfer them to a pot, preferably earthenware. Place the pot over medium heat and add 10 cups water and the bay leaves.

Cook for about an hour and a half or until the chickpeas are done. Add a little extra water to the soup if it seems dry. Add salt only near the end of cooking.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree ¼ of the peas. Season with pepper to taste.
In the meanwhile, prepare the pasta by making a well with the flour. Add the eggs to the center and mix until you have a smooth dough.

Let rest for 20 minutes covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
Use a rolling pin or pasta machine to roll out the dough into very thin sheets. Flour lightly then fold the sheets over multiple times. Use a knife to make ¼ inch wide tagliatelle noodles. Separate the noodles and stretch them out across a lightly floured baking sheet. Let dry for a couple of minutes.

Then, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. After 5 minutes, drain the pasta and transfer to a bowl with the chickpeas.

While the pasta is cooking, place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and once hot add drained, thinly sliced peppers. Fry the peppers for a couple of minutes, then remove them from the heat. Add the peppers and the oil to the pasta and chickpeas. Mix together and serve hot.

Food History

Tagliatelle is the type of pasta that best represents the city of Bologna. It is considered almost sacred to the extent that in 1972 The Order of the Tortellino and The Academy of Italian Cuisine decided to place this recipe within the Camera di Commercio di Bologna, stating that the exact width of a cooked tagliatella should be a 12.270 to one part of the Torre degli Asinelli, to be more precise of 8 millimeters.
The history of tagliatelle is surrounded by mystery, but this has not stopped the birth of folk stories and beliefs about them.
One of the main aspects that all Italian regions have in common is actually the existence of tales related to the birth of food, which is lost in time. These narrations are usually created with the intent to define an intensive patriotism around the origin of some food, like in the case of tortellini, which according to Cerri’s was created in Castelfranco Emilia, or in other cases, to grant more historical authority to certain types of food, connecting to the last the origin of exceptional events or famous historical figures.
This last scenario is the one concerning tagliatelle. It was 1931 when the humorist Bolognese Augusto Majani decided to ennoble the famous pasta connecting its origin to Lucrezia Borgia.
Majani states that in 1487, Giovanni II of Bentivoglio, at the time lord of  Bologna, asked his personal chef, Mastro Zefirano, to organize a glorious banquet in Lucrezia Borgia’s honor, who would be visiting the city.
The beautiful Lucrezia was actually headed for Ferrara to marry the duke Alfonso D’Este, for this reason Bentivoglio wanted to honor her.
Due the request, the chef conceived an unforgettable banquet, where, in between pigeons, partridges
and food of all kind, stood out a new type of pasta. The last was obtained by cutting the classic lasagna and by shaping long gold stripes of pasta, in honor of the blonde hair of the bride to be and by this giving birth to the famous tagliatelle.

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