Lagane e cicciari – wide pasta with chickpeas

Lagane e cicciari – Calabrian wide pasta with chickpeas
  • Main
  • easy
  • 4
  • 2 hours, plus overnight soaking time for the chickpeas


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Lagane is an ancient (rumoured to be one of the oldest) durum wheat pasta cut into short, wide ribbons. Like many of the pastas of southern Italy it is eggless, making it ideal for vegans. It is a great handmade pasta for beginners as the simple dough is foolproof and doesn't require a pasta machine to be rolled out.

Though the pairing of pasta with the humble chickpea may not sound as glamorous as a rich ragù or creamy sauce, it is a combination eaten with gusto throughout Calabria, Basilicata and Puglia. This version is flecked with rosemary and chilli flakes and is well worth the effort of making your own pasta. If you're in a hurry, canned chickpeas can be used, but won't be quite as flavourful as cooking them yourself.

To begin, drain the chickpeas from the soaking water and place in a pan with the garlic cloves, bay leaf and a large pinch of salt. Add roughly double the volume of water to chickpeas then bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer for an hour, or until the chickpeas are cooked
Meanwhile, make the pasta dough. Place the semolina flour in a bowl and slowly add the water, mixing with a fork until the flour and water start to come together (you may not need to use all the water)
Tip out onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with some more semolina flour and knead the dough for 10 minutes, until you have a nice smooth dough. You can add a little more flour if the dough seems too wet. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 1 hour in the fridge
Once rested, divide the dough into 4 pieces. One at a time, roll the dough out to a thickness of 2mm using a long rolling pin (this manual method will take some skill and patience, so if you have a pasta machine it will make things easier)
Cut the rolled-out pasta into strips roughly 8cm long and 2–3cm wide. Sprinkle with semolina flour as you work to stop the ribbons sticking together
Once cooked, drain the chickpeas, reserving about 50ml of the cooking liquor and discarding the garlic and bay leaf
Sauté the onion, garlic, chilli flakes and rosemary in a generous glug of oil with a pinch of salt. Once soft but not coloured, add the chickpeas, white wine and the reserved chickpea stock, and simmer until the liquid in the pan has reduced by half
Cook the pasta in heavily salted boiling water for 4 minutes, or until al dente
Drain the pasta and add to the chickpeas with a splash of the pasta water – the starch from the cooking water will help emulsify the sauce
Toss everything in the pan until nice and glossy. Season with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately
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