2 large or 3 small
garlic cloves, minced or microplaned
crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
(15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
dry white wine
linguine (or spaghetti or any other long, twirlable noodle)
chopped parsley, preferably flat-leaf, plus more for serving
Finely grated or ground parmesan, for serving
In This Recipe
Fill a 3-quart pot with 7 cups water. (If this doesn’t seem like enough for the pasta, it is. We want the water extra starchy for later.) Add 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt. Set over medium-high heat.
While that heats up, fry the breadcrumbs. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a medium skillet. Set over medium heat. When the oil is shimmery, add the anchovies and stir to break up. Add the breadcrumbs and stir again. Slightly lower the heat. Toast the breadcrumbs—stirring occasionally—until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes. Shower with lemon zest. Season with salt to taste.
Make the chickpea sauce. The water should come to a boil during this stage—start cooking the pasta then! Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to a wide, high-sided skillet and set over medium heat. When the oil is shimmery, add the garlic and chili flakes. Stir-fry until fragrant and toasty. Add the chickpeas. Whatever water was clinging to them will help you use a spoon or spatula to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the white wine and simmer for a couple minutes until the alcohol cooks off and begins to reduce. Add the butter and swirl to emulsify.
When the pasta is *just* al dente—7 to 8 minutes—use tongs to transfer it to the pan with the chickpeas and sauce. Raise the heat to medium-low. Toss and add enough pasta water to create a sauce for the noodles to splash around in. Continue to cook for a minute or so until the sauce slightly thickens. Add the parsley, half the breadcrumbs, and toss.
Divide between serving bowls, then top with the remaining breadcrumbs—plus crushed red pepper, parsley, and parmesan.
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.