Pasta is a cliché, a bore, a culinary banality on a million restaurant menus. How does it go? Bolognese. Carbonara. Alfredo. Marinara. Pescatora. Napolitana. Puttanesca. Arrabbiata. Arrabbiata? That means angry.
Don’t get angry, get even. Tell the kids, or your husband or your wife or your brother or your sister or your mother you are serving them pasta with yogurt tonight and watch their reaction. Pasta with yogurt?
Yes. Pasta with yogurt. Plain, tart yogurt with the sting of garlic and the crunch of parsley and the yielding texture of chickpeas and the bite of fresh ground black pepper. You’ll never order spaghetti napolitana again, or buy one of those supermarket jars with a photo of a wizened Italian on the label (or Butch Cassidy or the Sundance Kid for that matter, I can't remember which) containing sauce made in a hundred gallon vat in Dandenong one night two years ago.
This recipe is dead easy and you don’t even have to cook the sauce.
Pasta with yogurt, garlic and chickpeas.
You can use any pasta with this but short works better. I used rigatoni.
Cook pasta until done. While cooking pasta, dice half a cucumber and chop a clove of garlic finely and then fold these through a cup of plain yogurt. Use Greek yogurt for a creamier result.
Open a can of chickpeas and warm them through in their fluid.
Drain pasta when it is done. Drain the chickpeas. Return both to one pan to which you have added a dash of good olive oil. Now fold the yogurt mixture through on low heat for mere seconds.
Transfer immediately to serving bowls. Dust with ground pepper and sprinkle finely chopped parsley.
Enjoy with very fresh, very soft Turkish bread and a glass of any white wine that isn’t too acidic (most are these days) and isn’t too cold. Cold wine kills your palate, if it hasn’t already been dulled by a million clichéd Italian restaurant menus.