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!