Pasta e ceci alla Romana

Pasta e ceci alla Romana


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Pasta e ceci is my all-time favourite soup. I grew up in Milan, where winters can be quite cold for Italian standards, and my mother would often make this soup for dinner. It is a very comforting and hearty kind of dish and it is also very easy to make.

You can find pasta e ceci (which literally means pasta with chickpeas) everywhere in Italy, however there are many regional versions of the dish. In Tuscany you will not find tomatoes in it, while the Neapolitan version is drier and somewhat creamier. This recipe is for the Roman recipe for pasta e ceci. This is probably the one I like the most, as the addition of anchovies gives the dish a little extra kick.

You can serve pasta e ceci with a huge variety of pasta shapes: short soup pasta like ditalini work really well, but you can also serve it with home-made pasta like maltagliati, lagane or sagne. Make sure to add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a little freshly ground black pepper just before serving: it makes a huge difference!

To begin, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Set aside
Slice the garlic clove and sauté in the extra virgin olive oil on a medium–low heat for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the anchovies and stir well until melted
Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and rosemary. Stir then pour in the stock
Season with salt to taste, mix well, cover and leave to cook for 15 minutes
Cook the pasta of your choice in the chickpea soup, stirring often so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. You may need to add some warm water or extra stock depending on how long your pasta takes to cook. You want to keep the soup a bit runny, as it will thicken once off the heat
Serve warm with freshly ground pepper on the top and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
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