Saturday, 23 April 2016

Recipes from Rome - Pasta e Ceci


For today's recipe I have once more turned to my favourite cook book by Rachel Roddy. Rachel also writes a weekly column, 'A Kitchen in Rome', for Guardian Cook. One of the reasons for making today's soup was that I so love the article 'Second Helpings' , where Rachel speaks tenderly of times spent with her grandparents whilst growing up in England & eating a soup not dissimilar to pasta e ceci.

Start with a soffritto of onion, garlic, carrot & celery.

Heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large pan. Don't be miserly with the EVOO - 6 tablespoons is what the recipe requires.

Add the vegetables and cook gently - this takes longer than you might think but you will know when they are ready by the fragrant aroma.
Add 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, a sprig of rosemary & a pinch of dried chilli flakes. Cook until the herby perfume fills the air.

Add 2 tins of drained and rinsed chickpeas, a litre of hot water, pinch of salt and a parmesan rind. Rachel calls these rinds 'treasure' and they surely are. Their addition transforms a soup.
Let the soup simmer away for about 20 minutes & then transfer half to a blender.

Return to the pan and add the pasta. You may need more water here. The pasta I used was far too large a shape but it was what I had to hand. I could have bashed it in to smaller pieces but next time I will try & remember Jamie Oliver's thrifty tip to keep all the odd bits of broken pasta for such an occasion.
Cook until the pasta is ready & there you have it.....lunch!

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