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Hello, April!

I see you’ve brought a new Flavour of the Month with you:  Jamie’s Italy. I received a copy of this book to review and as soon as I picked up, I knew I’d like it. Who wouldn’t want to be sitting in Italy with a plate of pasta and a glass of wine?

I never get tired of cookbooks on Italian cuisine. I’m not sure if it’s the promise of Italy that they hold or the fact that the food just looks so good. Either way, I look forward to travelling through Italy with Mr. Jaime Oliver this month.

And while I expect you will bring some flowers, April, that’s fine. I’ve got my pasta e ceci to comfort me!

Ciao!

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)

Adapted from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver.

Note:  Pasta e ceci is one of those recipes that can be adapted to suit any tastes. You can make it as thick our as soupy as you like. Feel free to add whatever herbs you like. If you’ve got fresh rosemary or basil on hand, they are an excellent addition to the soup. This soup will serve 4.

  • 2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • 1 sprig rosemary or 1 tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 1-1/2 cups chickpeans (use canned chickpeas that have been drained and rinsed)
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 cup dried pasta (I like to use tubetti which is a tiny tubular pasta)
  • 3 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmigiano Reggiano to taste
  1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil with the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, hot pepper flakes and rosemary. Cook over very low heat until the vegetables are soft and translucent (about 10 to 15 minutes). Be careful not to burn the vegetables.
  2. Once the vegetables are soft, add the chickpeas and the chicken stock or water. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Remove half the chickpeas and place in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. With an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor, process the liquid and chickpeas in the stockpot until you have a smooth and creamy mixture.
  5. Return the remaining chickpeas to the pot and add the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Let cook until the pasta is ready (about 10 minutes). If the soup gets too thick, add some water.
  7. Once the pasta is done, stir in the parsley and taste again for salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning accordingly.
  8. Serve the pasta e ceci with lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
  9. Enjoy!

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