Monday, February 1, 2010
Pasta e Ceci (Pasta and Chickpeas)
This soft pasta and chickpea dish is a cross between and soup and a pasta dish. It is similar to Pasta e fagioli, which uses red beans instead of chickpeas...but the texture and flavours are very similar. It is filling, warming and comforting (and yet another way to get children to eat pulses!)...I've made it for the boys I've nannied, and also for my fiance...no complaints!
I use Jamie Oliver's recipe from Jamie's Italy, but he uses that same ingredients and method as my friend's Southern Italian father does.
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, trimmed and finally chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 spring of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finally chopped
2x 400g tins of chickpeas
500ml chicken stock
100g ditalini or other small Italian 'soup' pasta
sea salt, freshly ground pepper
parsley or basil chopped for garnish (optional)
Put the onion, celery, garlic and rosemary into a large saucepan with a glug of olive oil.
Cover and sweat veggies on low heat until soft, but without any colour (about 15-20 mins)
Meanwhile drain chickpeas and drain well.
After 15-20 mins add chickpeas to veggies and cover with stock.
Simmer gently until chickpeas are very soft (about 30 min)
Using a slotted spoon remove about 1/2 of the chickpeas (reserve)
Using a handblender or food processor blitz the remaining chickpeas and stock until pretty smooth
Return the reserved chickpeas to blended mixture and put over med-high heat
Add dried pasta
Simmer until pasta is cooked
Serve with some chopped parsley or basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.