Cooking should not be a race – but then neither should life and at times we have to cook meals in a hurry. “Ceci” are chickpeas/garbanzo. When combined with some pasta in a thick soup, flavoured with garlic, a hint of tomato and an infusion of rosemary, it makes for a very inviting repast.
Made some today for lunch for my daughter and she recalled how often she made this recipe when she was at university. So I have decided to dedicate this blog post to my lovely niece Emily, who just started at Uni in September.
Another plus is that the ingredients are easy to find and cheap too. So, what more could one want?
The only relative ‘downside’ is that there is one utensil that is required and that is a hand-held blender, and not every student might have one.
1 glass jar of precooked chickpeas, 1 clove of garlic, salt, tomato paste, fresh rosemary, a short-shaped pasta.
Put the kettle on the boil or boil some water in a saucepan.
Drain the jar.
Divide the chickpeas into two bowls (or mugs or glasses). Let’s name the bowl on the left A and the bowl on the right, with the fork in it, B. Well, bowl B has slightly more chickpeas than A, say 60 percent versus 40 percent.
You’ll be needing a squeeze of tomato paste. One clove of garlic and about 50g of pasta (per person). I didn’t have any short-shaped pasta – only spaghetti. But that’s okay, spaghetti can be snapped into bit size morsels.
Slice the garlic clove into three pieces. Squeeze a teaspoonful amount of tomato paste. And slather the bottom of a small saucepan with enough olive oil to muster the required amount of fat in this dish. Remember, no fat no taste.
Turn the heat on, and begin the cooking process. The garlic has to cook until it goes golden.
Now add the 40% amount of chickepeas (the smaller bowl, bowl A). Use a wooden spoon to mix the tomato paste into it.
Don’t forget to add some salt too.
Now add one to two ladles of the simmering water to the mix. Enough, anyhow, to cover the chickpeas.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and use a hand-held blender to process its contents.
Now, using another, slightly larger saucepan … we can proceed with the recipe. Place the 60 percent, bowl B, amount of chickpeas to this pan.
Transfer the other processed ingredients into this saucepan. So now we have whole chickpeas as well as processed chickpeas swimming together. Turn the heat on.
Snap your spaghetti into matchstick sized pieces. And add them to the soup.
Mix with a wooden spoon.
Add as much simmering water as is required. Basically, you are cooking this pasta e ceci the way you would a risotto.
Don’t overdo it, for now, add just enough water to cover the ingredients.
I love rosemary and rosemary pairs super well with the chickpeas in this recipe. Carry on cooking until the pasta is cooked al dente. Keep an eye on the process, you might want to add a little more simmering water, you might need to give the soup a swirl with a wooden soup to avoid it sticking from the bottom of the pan. The rosemary will lose some of its colour.
Once you have tasted the pasta for its ‘doneness’ … remove the rosemary, or as much of it as you can, and then swirl some more extra virgin olive oil over the surface and sprinkle with freshly milled pepper.
Looking good eh? Inviting?
Not finished. Not, that is, if you enjoy some grated pecorino cheese over it. Which my daughter does.
Time to eat.
Considering that the pasta takes about 10-12 minutes to cook … this whole recipe took less than 20 minutes to cook from start to finish. Now that’s what I call fast food.
I had written about a very similar recipe a few years ago:
And about another one including mushrooms: