Pasta & Ceci is one of the most traditional Italian pasta soups. It’s worth cooking the chickpeas with two bay leaves and some bacon, but the pressure cooker method and the cheat are still delicious.
- 200g dried chickpeas soaked in water overnight
- 1/3 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 small carrot
- ½ red onion
- 1 glove of garlic
- 1 rosemary spring
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 glass of white wine
- 120g of ditalini or bits of pasta you have left
- 2litres of water
- A couple of rashes of bacon (optional)
- Put the drained chickpeas with a generous pinch of salt, a spring of rosemary ,2 bay leaves , bacon if using and the 2 litres of water in a pot and boil rapidly for 15 minutes and then gently for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Drain and discard the bacon and the bay leaves.
- Chop the rosemary as thinly as possible; I’m afraid the food processor just won’t do it so you’ll have to do it by hand.
- Puree the garlic the onion and the carrot in a small food processor, then fry them in a little olive oil over a medium heath until they are soft, add the rosemary and half a glass of white wine and stir gently for one minute.
- Now add the chopped tomatoes and the remaining wine and let cook, stirring frequently for about 15 minutes.
- Remove about 3 ladleful of chickpeas and puree them with a little water in a food processor.
- Add the puree and the chickpeas to the pot with the tomato sauce and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the pasta and cook until very al dente, stirring frequently.
- Let it rest for 5 minutes before enjoying.
Pasta e Ceci: Pressure Cooker Method
Skip the bacon if you are using a pressure cooker, then proceed as above but use 1 ½ litres of water and when it reaches the cooking pressure cook the chickpeas for 19 minutes.
The Cheat Method
Use a tin of cooked chickpeas! But honestly, using the traditional method does make a difference!