I had a strong desire for pasta e ceci… a commonly made thickish soup of chickpeas and small cut pasta. Romans make it with generous black pepper, rosemary and anchovy.
I simply made it without consulting recipes because… well… I know what it is supposed to be and I can do that.
A common sofrito or mirepoix began it, into which I added some pancetta. I used the little processor to make it fairly fine.
Some white wine, to evaporation.
A key ingredient. You need good, aromatic rosemary. Save a sprig for a garnish.
I had some little tomatoes that needed consumption, so what the heck. And, yes, you find pasta e ceci with tomato. Sometimes it’s the paste that disappears into the mix.
Another shot of salt and pepper and in goes our chick peas and broth.
Don’t forget the anchovy. You could add this at the sofrito stage, buy it won’t make much difference.
I kept out some of the chickpea and pureed them with broth, to thicken the soup.
Short cut pasta, such as cannolichi are great. These are ditalini. The Great Roman’s grandmother would break bucatini into small pieces. Good idea.
This is going to need more broth.
Here’s a nice bowl of pasta e ceci. It really hit the spot. I had enough to share with my clerical neighbor.
Did you know that the Latin word for chickpea is “cicer“? Like the orator? I suppose that some ancestor in his family had one of those chickpea like growths in a visible place.
Also, in Italian, a “cicerone” (chee-chair-OH-neh) is a guide, like a tour guide, someone who shows you around. Why? Because Virgil was Dante’s guide through Hell. Yes… give it a couple minutes and you’ll work it out.
BTW… Cicero was born in Arpinum.
Can you think of another famous “novus homo… new man” who was from Arpinum?
Friends, good food doesn’t have to be complicated. Just do it!