PASTA E CECI : PASTA WITH CHICK PEAS
I’ve been told that this is a very old recipe and may even date back to Roman times. I like to think of the legionnaires cooking this over a camp fire after a hard day. We were cooking this one evening when a friend arrived unexpectedly, he smelt the aroma from the food and promptly stayed for dinner! It’s a robust, chunky soup to be eaten with crusty bread and plenty of red wine! We hope you enjoy it.
Ingredients Serves 6
300gr chick peas
9 garlic cloves, chopped finely
6 anchovies, chopped finely
2 tbsp tomato puree
teasp dried chilli
9 tbsp olive oil
sprig of rosemary
300gr short small pasta such as ave marie
salt and black pepper
1 litres water
The chick peas need to be soaked in cold water overnight. Now I know chickpeas can have an unfortunate effect on some people, I have been told that if you mix 2tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2tbsp flour and 2tbsp salt with some water to make a paste, add this to the chick peas and the soaking water that should help. However I have to admit I haven’t tried this.
Drain and rinse the chick peas, put them into a pan with plenty of cold water, bring it to the boil, then cook for five minutes. Drain, rinse and put them to one side.
You now need to fry half of the garlic in a large deep pan with three tbsp of the oil for about five minutes, without allowing it to colour. Put in the chick peas and give everything a good stirring to make sure they are well covered with the garlicky oil. Cover with the one and a half litres of water, put in the rosemary, bring to the boil and then season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and leave it to simmer for about an hour or until the chick peas are soft.
Whilst the chick peas are cooking, put the remaining olive oil in a small pan, adding the garlic, anchovies, chilli and tomato puree. Fry the mixture gently, stirring frequently until it is cooked through. The anchovies should have almost melted and disappeared into the sauce. Take the pan off the heat but keep it warm.
When the chick peas are cooked add the pasta to the pan. Make sure there is enough liquid to cook it properly, adding a little more water if necessary. When the pasta is cooked, you want it just tender, stir in the garlicky, anchovy mixture and remove from the heat. Serve in warmed bowls with a drizzle of olive oil.
As always adjust the amount of chilli to suit your own taste.