Pasta con Ceci

It's Monday night at the Giacometti's and I feel compelled to explain how this blog came about.   When exactly did Italian food get so complicated? When did it become about these huge portions of food?  My purpose is to  help expel those thoughts from your mind completely. Italian food is simple and delicious  in reality. It's is always about the fresh flavors of the ingredients.  Ingredients are never covered up.  They come together in a union to create something fantastic in the plate.  The Italians "Live for food."  Being Italian is not only about heritage, it's a lifestyle.
I felt compelled tonight to make something from the region of Tuscany.  A bean that is so often mis-understood here in the United States.  I keep Chick peas  (Garbanzo beans), frozen and cooked  in cup size portions ready to go in the freezer at anytime  If you are making these ahead, be sure  and rinse and leave them in water overnight.  They will need to boil for 3-4 hours and simmer in order to become tender.  Be sure that they are always covered in water while simmering.  Let them cool and place them in the freezer.  If you feel the need to use the canned variety that is fine.  There are many good varieties out there.  Be sure to drain and rinse.  Use them in the same fashion for this recipe.

Tonight's dinner is reflective of a reminder of Tuscany.  Ceci are typically served in a Minestra or soup with other vegetables. Typically hearty and served in winter.  Tonight, a Summer version,   Pasta with chickpeas with fresh Rosemary.   With Rosemary in abundance this time of year, this is the perfect quick and easy Pasta  to serve for a weekday dinner~ Buon Appetito~
2 cups chick peas  (cooked and drained)
2 garlic gloves or 4 tablespoons of white onion
4 tablespoons of olive oil plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (addtionial olive oil to garnish).
3 tablespoons of fresh rosemary chopped fine for garnish
Optional pint of sweet 100's tomatoes or pomodorini
1 teasspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
Additonal salt and pepper for the table

Into a pan 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary.  Remove your Rosemary as it is only to flavor the oil.   Saute your garlic until fragrant.  (You may remove it from the pan  or continue, as your oil will be flavored).   After just a few minutes place your 2 cups of drained chickpeas into your olive oil and mix.  Add your salt and pepper.  Keep your heat on med/ low and crush  some of your  cooked chickpeas with the back of a spoon.  Leave some whole as it is very pretty in a tubular pasta when served.  Cook for 7 minutes.  It is here that you might want to add your pomodorini  cut in half.  It is not necessary as the dish is flavorful without this addition, however I will add them on occasion when they are available out of my garden.    Place your lid on the pan and remove from heat.  Cook your pasta.  Rigatoni is recommended or any tubular shaped pasta.  Drain and mix with your chickpeas  and / or tomatoes.  Add additional olive oil.    Add fresh chopped rosemary for Garnish~ Buon Appetito!


I was not very long in New York when I first came across this dish or at least something very similar. One of my first cooking jobs in the city was at Balduccis and this was something we would make
Such a classic and u Don't see it anymore . Haven't been to Balducci's in so long! Every trip into New York I used to go just to roam the aisles! My mom still l tells me I come injust to food shop !!Hehe I usually make this dish with the addition of fresh tomatoes too! It's just delicious;)
Kimby said…
Simple is so much better, isn't it? You're right -- there's so much emphasis placed on huge platefuls (not sure when that evolved!) I'd prefer one perfect bite (or several...) of this over a huge plate of "perceived Italian" anytime!
Anonymous said…
Always in Italian cuisine, the best is il piu semplice.
Thanks Beppe

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