Fresh Garbanzo Beans and Smoked Salmon Pasta
Last saturday, I took advantage of a sleep-in-less morning, and popped over to the Farmer’s Market. While I was there, I came across Still-in-the-pod Garbanzo beans, which of course, I had to buy. Until then, I’d never seen Fresh Garbanzo Beans before. When I got home, I did a little perusing in all my favorite inspiration haunts, but unfortunately – there wasn’t much to find. So I did a little fingerwalking with Google, and managed to get some ideas on how they should be prepped.
I had picked up – oh, I dunno, probably about two pounds. And after I had put away all my other farmer’s market goodies, I sat down with a big bowl, turned on an episode of House, and got to shelling. And Shelling. And Shelling. I did the full batch of Garbanzos, plus the couple pounds of fava beans I’d picked up, too. But don’t let those innocent looking shells on the Garbanzos fool you – those little buggers can be tough. But anyways, after all that effort, I was rewarded with about two cups of raw Garbanzo Beans. Of course, by this time it was pushing Midnight, and did I mention it was a sleep-in-less Saturday?
So I rinsed them off, snapped a couple of pictures, blanched them, and then stuck them in the fridge to use later in the week. I had some vague idea of maybe making a fresh garbanzo hummus or something, but eventually I opted for this quick and easy pasta dish. I hadn’t actually wanted to make Pasta again ( we’ve been eating a fair amount recently) but Miss Thing specifically requested pasta…. Well, actually, what she requested was a thick, hearty, beefy gravy (like stroganoff) and pasta. But I told her in no uncertain terms that 80 degree weather is far too hot for such a hearty dish. So this was my attempt to kind of meet her half-way – something creamy, but a little on the lighter side.
And she absolutely loved it – except for the garbanzo beans, of course. But thats just her for ya. Mr. Man and I loved the garbanzos. Next time I’d probably add another tomato – since I think it really could have used a little more tomato – but I wanted to focus on the garbanzo beans, so I didn’t want to add too many flavors to compete with it. If you don’t have fresh garbanzo beans, I would recommend using sweet shelled peas or something like that, as opposed to using canned garbanzos – the flavor of a fresh garbanzo is really quite different than the canned ones. In fact, I liked the fresh ones a whole heck of a lot more than I do the canned type. I’ve never been much of a bean fan, probably because all I’ve ever really been exposed to are the canned and dried varieties – but all these fresh beans I’ve been trying lately are making a bean-eater out of me.
I only blanched the garbanzo beans for a minute or so – because they’re so teeny. I also opted to use a leek from this week’s FFTY box instead of an onion. Although, if you haven’t noticed by now – I’m usually pretty happy to swap out onions for leeks for shallots for onions depending on what I have on hand. Although their flavors are a little different, they’re similar enough that I’ve never really noticed too much of a difference. This is another one of my almost-vegetarian specials. One of the ways that I’m trying to cut back on buying non-local items, (and is probably contributing to the whole pasta-overload lately) is by taking a really strong and flavorful meat and using it in small doses to add a little protein and a lot of flavor to a dish. It’s definitely an easy way to make a little luxury item go a long way.
- 2 cups shelled, blanched, fresh Garbanzo Beans
- 4 oz Smoked Salmon; cut in to thin ribbons
- 1 lb Pasta
- 1 leek; split lengthwise, cleaned, and thinly sliced
- 1 tomato; diced
- 3 cloves Garlic; minced
- 1/2 cup Fresh Parsley; minced
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Romano Cheese
- 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 tbs White Wine
- 2 tbs Butter
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil (the goal is to have the pasta cooked to al dente just as the sauce ingredients are ready)
- While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat
- Add the leeks and saute until begining to carmelize
- Add the pasta to the pot of water to begin it cooking (Or atleast – this is when I started the pasta, YMMV depending on pasta shape)
- Increase the heat and add the Garbanzo beans
- Saute the garbanzo beans for a couple of minutes until beginning to brown
- Add the garlic and the white wine to the garbanzo beans, cover and reduce heat to medium-low until liquid is absorbed (about 2 minutes)
- Drain the pasta
- Return pasta to warm cooking pot
- Add the garbanzo beans, parsley, romano cheese, tomato, heavy cream and salmon to the pasta
- Add Kosher Salt to taste
- Toss to combine
- Serve immediately