From the Kitchen of Dean Cacciatore
PASTA E CECI
Pasta and Chickpea Soup
My grandmother would make this soup on our Jersey snow days when we stayed home from school. After playing in the snow for 12 hours, there’s nothing better to warm you up than a bowl of this soup. Add a piece of fresh crusty bread, and you can’t beat it! Buon Appetito!
Makes about 6 servings
1/2 lb dried chickpeas
• A pinch of flour
• 4 oz of organic kale, no stems, cut into Julienne pieces
• 2 large sprigs of rosemary
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1/2 gal of chicken broth (make the dish vegetarian by substituting with vegetable stock or water)
• Pasta of your choice (Ditalini is our favorite pasta for soups)
• salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water and a tablespoon of flour (to help make the chickpeas more digestible).
- Rinse well and cook in twice their volume of chicken broth, adding the whole garlic cloves to the pot. Cook until tender (approx. 2 hours).
- Put aside two ladlefuls of whole chickpeas, remove the garlic and puree the rest of the chickpeas and water.
- In a large pot, gently fry a sprig of rosemary and kale in a good swirl (2-3 tablespoons) of olive oil, until the rosemary has softened and released its aroma.
- Add the chickpea puree and the whole chickpeas to the pot. Bring to the boil.
- Add pasta of your choice, about 2oz per person.
- Strip the leaves off the other sprig of rosemary and mince finely.
When the pasta is cooked, stir in the fresh minced rosemary and kale.
Serve dressed with raw extra virgin olive oil and black pepper, and some shredded pecorino romano.