Sunday, 7 February 2016

Recipes from Rome - A Bowl Full of Sunshine

At first glance this Mexican inspired soup  from Delia Smith (recipe here ) has little to do with Rome but the main ingredient, chickpeas, are a store cupboard favourite of Roman Mammas.

On Tuesdays and Fridays trattorias throughout the city serve pasta e cecci - pasta & chickpea soup.
Our recipe begins the night before with soaking the dried pulses which are then ready to be simmered next day until tender.
Now comes the next Roman connection. Emporio delle Spezie in Testaccio is one of the permanent fixtures on our Rome itineraries.

This tiny shop is an Aladdin's cave full of spices from all over the world that are weighed out on old fashioned scales. Armed with a list we  manage to come away with a bag full of spices to replenish the cupboards at home. Sarawak black peppercorns and Norwegian smoked salt always make the list.

The spices in question for this recipe are coriander & cumin seeds. They are dry roasted, crushed in a pestle and mortar then cooked gently in butter along with chilli and garlic.
The drained chickpeas are blended with  cooking water, the spices, lemon zest and fresh coriander and simmered for 30 minutes. Voila! Mexican soup.
For a taste of Mexico in Rome try La Taqueria (Via Giacomo Boni, 26) near Bologna Metro Station. Many thanks to Linda Martinez from The Beehive who shared this lovely little find on their blog.
We don't usually seek out other cuisines when in Rome but will definitely make an exception for La Taqueria. Who could resist this bright décor! Sunshine colours indeed.

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