Called also chickpea and garbanzo, ceci [cheh-chee] are my favorite beans, just boiled with garlic and rosemary, drained and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and freshly ground pepper are delicious.
And with pasta? A classic Roman dish for the cold winter.
How to boil chickpea:
- Do not buy canned chickpea, it is very simple to make this basic recipe.
- Wash the dried chickpeas and soak them all night with a pinch of soda bicarbonate.
- The day after drain the beans, rinse them well with fresh water.
- Make a bouquet garni with a bay leaf, a whole garlic clove and rosemary.
- Place beans and bouquet garni in the pressure cooker [water accordingly] without salt and cook for the suggested time. Or cook them in a pot filled with water a couple of inches above the beans for about 40 minutes [soft but not mushy] . Pressure cooker is really a great help and in India everyone is using it.
- Add salt only at the end.
- Short pasta conch shaped or elbow pasta, cavatelli, orecchiette and even tagliatelle or linguine, but no spaghetti or penne. Why? it is inexplicable.
- Boiled chickpea.
- Onion minced
- Garlic minced together with parsley, celery and more rosemary
- Chili flakes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Boil the pasta for half of the suggested time, drain and keep aside.
- In a large pot brown the minced onion with the chili flakes and when it turns translucent add the minced garlic-herbs.
- Mash with a fork half of the ceci and add them with the whole ones to the pot.
- Add some of the ceci broth [you don't get any good broth with the canned ones] and when it start boiling add the half cooked pasta.
- The pasta e ceci has to be thick, but if necessary add spoons of more broth to avoid any burning.
- Cook until the pasta is ready - put off the fire and let sit for few minutes before serving.
And this is the soup i made the day after:
Boil some grated zucchini and carrot with diced celery, and when ready add the leftover ceci and cook until hot. Garnish with chili and olive oil. Parmigiano on top is also good on the soup.