Pasta E Ceci
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Pasta e Ceci
"Pasta e ceci - a traditional Roman dish of short pasta (I like orecchiette but ditalini or gomiti also work), tender chickpeas and brothy tomato sauce."
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 small white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 jar of chickpeas, with its bean stock + a few tablespoons of water
1 tin plum tomatoes
120g short pasta (see headnote)
Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped to serve
Parmesan to serve (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Once shimmering, add the chopped onion + a big pinch of salt.
Fry over a low-medium heat for 10 minutes until golden. Add the garlic, rosemary + chilli + fry for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly to ensure the garlic doesn’t catch.
Add the tin of plum tomatoes then fill the tin with warm water, swirling to get every last bit of the tomato before adding this to the pan as well. Break down the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon then leave the sauce to simmer on a low heat, stirring every so often.
After 20 minutes turn the heat up to medium then add the chickpeas + their liquid. Taste + salt as necessary, bearing in mind that the pasta will soak up a fair amount of seasoning. Bring back to a lively simmer then add the pasta. You want the sauce to be brothy so, depending on the pasta shape + brand, you may need to add a splash more liquid as it cooks to loosen.
Once the pasta is al dente, taste for seasoning one last time then ladle into bowls. Top with chopped parsley, a few twists of black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil + parmesan if you like.