While garbanzo beans are usually reserved for salads and hummus, adding some cooked octopus to them makes for a healthy albeit different kind of dinner.
I don’t eat octopus that often. As a matter of fact, the only time I do eat the sea animal with eight arms is when I’m having sushi. So it’s usually a little piece of tentacle laid on a little bed of rice. I can stuff the whole thing in my mouth in one bite and be completely satisfied. I’d never even considered the possibility that there was another way to eat the seafood, but of course there must be. I mean, it is a food, so there are probably a million different ways to eat it. Well, luckily for me La Cucina Italiana had an idea that broadened my seafood-eating horizons and brought a smile to my son’s lips as well. They suggested adding the chewy tentacles to a chickpea soup with pasta. The flavor from the seafood, coupled with the pasta and the garbanzo beans, made for a meal that was not only delicious but healthy too.
Chickpea soup with octopus
- 1 octopus, cooked
- 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas with their liquid
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1/2 cup uncooked spaghetti
- 1/2 cup uncooked macaroni
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
- Boil a large pot of salted water over high heat, add the octopus and cook for 25-30 minutes. Drain, chop off the tentacles, cut each tentacle into 1/4-inch rounds, and set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside.
- While the octopus cooks, place the chickpeas in a blender with the chicken stock. Purée until smooth. Transfer the purée to a large saucepan. Add one tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Cook over low heat until warmed through, five to seven minutes.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the octopus tentacles, pasta, butter and parsley and cook until butter is melted, about one minute.
- Spoon the chickpea soup into serving bowls, top with the octopus mixture and serve.