Monday, January 27, 2014

Pasta con Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)

 
There's something about authentic Italian food . . . no fancy ingredients or spices, just simple, fresh ingredients that come together into a tasty and satisfying meal. On our recent trip to Italy, my mother-in-law prepared a dish called "pasta con ceci", which means pasta with chickpeas. It's healthy, tasty, filling and the perfect dish to serve on a cold winter day (which we've been having WAY too many of lately)!

I had never made this dish before, but I remembered how tasty it was when we had it at her house last month, and I really had a craving for it. I had a pretty good idea on how to make it, but just to be sure, we made a quick Skype call to her, so she could confirm I was on the right path. I was, and now I'm sharing her recipe with you:


Here's what you'll need: Dry chickpeas, onions, carrots, celery, baking soda, water, pasta, olive oil.


Place 8 ounces of dry chickpeas into a dutch oven along with a pinch of baking soda, cover with water and soak overnight. The picture on the right is how they will look after an overnight soak.


Drain the chickpeas and add them back into the pot along with the onions, carrots and celery.


Fill the pot with water to about 2" above the chickpeas. Add salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the chickpeas are tender.


Remove about half of the chickpeas and vegetables along with a bit of the water and puree with an immersion blender or food processor.


Bring the pot back to a hard boil and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente.


Add the puree, which gives the soup a creamy, smooth texture, but without all of the calories of real cream!


Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley (if desired).

<<Printable Recipe>>

Pasta con Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)
from www.kimscookingnow.blogspot.com
Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
8 ounces dry chickpeas
1 pinch of baking soda
water
1/2 cup carrots (diced)
1/2 cup celery (diced)
3/4 cup onion (diced)
8 ounces of dry pasta (such as ditalini, small shell, elbow or orecchiette)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Grana Padano® or Parmeggiano Reggiano® (grated)

Directions:
  1. Place dry chickpeas in a large pot. Add a pinch of baking soda, cover with water and soak overnight.
  2. Drain chickpeas and add back to pot, along with the carrots, celery and onions. Fill the pot about half full with water (about 2 inches above the chickpeas and vegetables). Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until the chickpeas are tender. This can take up to 2 hours depending on the chickpeas. Just keep checking them until they are still slightly firm, but mash easily between two fingers.
  3. Remove about half of the chickpeas and vegetable with a bit of the liquid and puree with an immersion blender or food processor. Set aside.
  4. Bring the remaining mixture back to a hard boil and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente.
  5. Add the puree to the pot and stir. Place into bowls and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, top with parmesan cheese and the parsley (if desired). Serve immediately.
Buon Appetito!

4 comments:

  1. this sound delicious Kim. My husband would love it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well I just had pasta an hour ago and I'm so full right now. But I never tried this chickpea one. No idea what that would taste like!

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  3. Cooking formulas are not inflexible models. With a specific formula, you can change it and customize it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like cooking blogs as i am a professional chef but only at my home. Lolz... This is a good recipe of pasta and different than usual recipes.

    ReplyDelete