"Orecchiette? They are shaped like little ears," I would say as I held my palms up near my own ears (not touching-that's gross!), to demonstrate. So it went on an almost nightly basis as I waited tables at A. Sabella's restaurant, a family run place on Fisherman's Wharf. Orecchiette are indeed shaped like little ears, and have a clingability that works great with chunky, meaty sauces. I wanted to re-try a garbanzo-tomato sauce, and had everything except fresh herbs.
Getting ready for the Sopranos, we wondered: how Tony's compadres would react to his recovery.. who would gun for the Number One position? Would the annoying dream sequences end? How would A.J. behave (or not)? Would Christopher's movie plan fly? Did Tony really want to invest in the film? Let the viewing begin.
Orecchiette in a Chunky Tomato Garbanzo Sauce
Heat olive oil in a pot. Add one finely chopped onion and cook til translucent. Add five minced garlic cloves. Cook and stir often for about two minutes. Add five large carrots cut into small dice, with one bay leaf. Cook for five minutes on medium high, until carrots begin to soften. Pour two 28 ounce cans of whole tomatoes (fire roasted add a nice smokiness), one 28 ounce drained can of garbanzo beans, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Stir, gently breaking up the tomatoes. Simmer uncovered for twenty minutes.
Cook one box orecchiette in boiling salted water for eleven minutes. The pasta clings, so it's important to stir every few minutes.
Add 1 large handful of roughly chopped basil. Fresh thyme adds a great peppery note, so add some if you can find it. A dash of Tabasco will keep the heat lovers happy.
Drain the pasta. Toss with the sauce. Remove bay leaf. Serve in warmed bowls. Top with fresh shavings of Parmesan.