by Yotam Ottolenghi
Gigli with Chickpeas and Za’atar
Gigli means “lilies” in Italian, and their floral wavy edges are a great vehicle for the chickpeas and anchovies in the sauce. Orecchiette (ears) or conchiglie (shells) are also good for scooping and work really well here too.
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
½ onion, finely chopped (¾ cup/100g)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
½ cup/10g thyme leaves, finely chopped
about 7 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped (scant 1 oz/25g)
1 lemon: finely shave the peel of ½, then juice to get 2 tbsp
2 (15.5 oz/440g) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (3½ cups/480g)
1 tsp brown sugar
1-2/3 cups/400ml chicken stock
7 oz/200g gigli pasta (or conchiglie or orecchiette)
1¾ oz/50g baby spinach leaves
¾ cup/15g parsley, roughly chopped
1½ tsp za’atar
1. Put the olive oil into a large sauté pan and place over high heat. Add the onion, garlic cumin, thyme, anchovies, lemon peel, ½ tsp of salt, and a good grind of pepper. Fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until soft and golden. Decrease the heat to medium-high, then add the chickpeas and sugar and fry for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas begin to brown and crisp up. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice and simmer for 6 minutes, until the sauce has reduced slightly Remove from the heat and set aside. You can make this in advance, if you like, and warm through before serving.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes, or according to package instructions, until el dente. Drain and set aside.
3. Stir the spinach and parsley into the chickpeas; the residual heat of the sauce should cook the spinach, but if it doesn’t wilt, just warm the chickpeas gently on the stove. Transfer the pasta to the pan of chickpeas and stir to combine. Divide among 4 bowls and sprinkle the za’atar on top. Finish with a drizzle of oil, and serve.