We The Italians | Italian cuisine: Lagane, A Delicious and Nutritious Way to Celebrate St. Joseph’s Day

Italian cuisine: Lagane, A Delicious and Nutritious Way to Celebrate St. Joseph’s Day

Italian cuisine: Lagane, A Delicious and Nutritious Way to Celebrate St. Joseph’s Day

  • WTI Magazine #161 Mar 18, 2023
  • 1177

Zeppole and Sfingi di San Giuseppe are among our most beloved Italian culinary rituals. In addition to the highly anticipated sweet treats, however, Calabrians choose to celebrate with Lagane (or laganelle), a type of homemade pasta often paired with beans. Dating back to 4th century BCE Magna Graecia, this type of pasta can still be found in modern day Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, and Puglia.

At first glance lagane resemble pappardelle, but lagane are flatter, thinner, and of varying lengths. In Calabria, they’re usually served on the Festa di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Day), which is also Father’s Day in Italy, and is observed on March 19. This recipe is adapted from Italian Recipes For Dummies by Amy Riolo.

Lagane con ceci/Lagane Pasta with Chickpeas

PREP TIME: 50 MIN

COOK TIME: 1 HOUR PLUS OVERNIGHT FOR SOAKING MIN

YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS

- 8 ounces dried chickpeas, covered in water, soaked overnight, and drained

- 1 bay leaf

- 1 clove garlic, peeled

- 3 teaspoons unrefined sea salt or salt, divided

- 4 tablespoons Amy Riolo Selections or other good-quality extra virgin olive oil

- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

- 1 small chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped

- 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes, quartered

- 6 fresh basil leaves, shredded, or 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

- Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

- 2 3/4 cups durum wheat flour, plus additional 1 cup for work surface

- 4 jumbo eggs (10 ounces total)

- 1 teaspoon salt

- Pecorino Crotonese, Pecorino di Moliterno, or Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated, for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. To make the sauce, place the prepared chickpeas, bay leaf, garlic clove, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, adding hot water if liquid is absorbed from chickpeas before they are tender, for 30 minutes or until very tender. Drain and remove the bay leaf.
  2. To make the pasta, place the flour in a mound on a clean, dry work surface. Make a hole in the center and break the eggs into the middle. Using a fork, carefully mix the eggs together and incorporate a little flour into the eggs at a time.
  3. Add the salt, and mix well by hand to form a solid dough.
  4. Lightly flour the work surface, and knead and fold the dough energetically until it forms a smooth ball. Using your hands or a floured rolling pin, flatten out the dough to form a 10-inch diameter disk. Cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes. Scrape up and discard any unused bits of dough.
  5. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the chile pepper, tomatoes, and basil or parsley. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. Allow to cook 5 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked chickpeas to the tomato mixture, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until chickpeas are tender.
  7. Lightly flour your work surface again and use a well-floured rolling pin to roll out the prepared dough until it is about 1/16-inch thick (or use a pasta machine as directed in the recipe — this setting is usually second to last or last depending upon your machine). Fold the dough over itself in equally spaced quarter folds.
  8. With a sharp knife or pasta cutter, slice lengthwise strips of varying lengths, 5-6 inches long, and about 1/4-inch wide. Set aside.
  9. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Season with a teaspoon of salt, add the lagane, stir, and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
  10. Drain the pasta, and toss it with ladles of the sauce. Garnish with freshly grated Pecorino cheese and serve.

TIP

Dr. Sante Laviola, Italian Research scientist, professional wine taster, and sommelier suggests pairing this dish with a bottle of Guarnaccino rosato or similar. Produced only in Basilicata, it is a muscular wine with notes of small red fruits supported by acidity and a delicate tannin content that allow the wine to age well.

VARY IT!

Lagane can be enjoyed with a simple Fresh Tomato Sauce, Meat Ragù, or other legume-based sauce as well as with the chickpeas.