In a show of solidarity for the New York doctor who was quarantined for Ebola, I put myself in a trial self-quarantine this weekend. I suppose I could have done as he did — returned from West Africa with a fever and then taken the subway to a crowded park, restaurant, and bowling alley…
But no, I thought I should get a taste of what a real quarantine would be like in the event of an Ebola outbreak. So here’s what I did. On Sunday afternoon, I went into my kitchen and closed all the doors. I insisted that everyone stay out, for safety reasons. I played some nice piano on my iPod and cracked a bottle of vino. I then spent hours slicing onions, cleaning chick peas, and preparing this week’s Sunday Pasta, while alternating with a novel and various sections of The Sunday Times.
Lo and behold, 3 hours later I emerged happy and healthy from my quarantine — with a big bowl of pennone con ceci e cipolla.
I really don’t know what all the fuss is about; these quarantines don’t seem so bad to me (especially when you consider the safety of others).
Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.
If using dry chickpeas, soak them overnight in water. Drain them, and then boil them in a large pot of water for approximately 45 minutes, or until tender, being careful that they do not break apart.
Puree one cup of the chick peas in a food processor, adding a few tablespoons of olive oil and some water as needed to achieve a creamy consistency. In a large skillet, over medium heat, slowly sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add a bit of water and sauté until the liquid is absorbed and the onions are slightly caramelized. Add the chick pea puree, and salt and pepper. After a couple of minutes, add the whole chick peas and stir. Cook over low heat for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it, retaining some of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the chick pea mixture. If the pasta seems dry, add some of the retained cooking water. Mix well and serve with a sprinkle of Parmigiano.
The total cooking and prep time assumes the use of canned chickpeas.