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Illustrations by John Burgoyne  

Not that you, the average “In Season” reader, are planning on rising at the crack of dawn this Sunday and sprinting 26.2 pre-brunch miles in a pair of tiny shorts. But even if you aren’t participating in the New York City Marathon, why not get into the spirit of the thing? Why not fortify yourself the night before with a double dose of complex carbohydrates courtesy of this recipe from Convivio and Alto’s Michael White? At the very least, you may find yourself in the gym, attacking the Precor Elliptical machine with a renewed vigor.

Michael White’s Spaghetti con Ceci

15 ounces Italian chickpeas, rinsed and drained (available at Di Palo’s)
1/2 cup chicken stock
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pancetta, diced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch chile flakes
14-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
10 to 15 basil leaves
Salt to taste
1 pound spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese to taste

In a blender or food processor, combine 12 ounces of the chickpeas with chicken stock and pulse a few times until chickpeas are chopped. (1) Place a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil and diced pancetta. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned. Add onions, garlic, and chile flakes. Continue cooking until onions and garlic are translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. (2) Add chickpea mixture, tomatoes, and basil, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt. While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook until done. (3) Drain pasta, and toss with chickpea sauce and remaining 1/3 cup whole chickpeas. Plate into 4 bowls, and top with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serves 4 (or 2 to 3 marathoners).


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