This is a classic and favorite cucina povera – poor kitchen – meal. Cucina povera refers to meals invented out of necessity, hearty and packed with nutrients, intended to keep families full between meals. This dish simmers chickpeas, tomatoes and garlic together to make a brodo di pomodoro – tomato broth. When the chickpeas have cooked, we’ll add any short pasta to mix.
One thing I will always remember about my mom’s kitchen was that she always had a bowl of beans soaking from the night before. We ate beans frequently, because they were healthy and inexpensive. The dried variety is better because it doesn’t contain the amount of sodium that its canned counterpart does, but, in all honestly, as a busy mom, I rarely remember to take something out for dinner the night before! For this recipe I used canned beans, which you should rinse thoroughly to reduce the amount of salt.
On a cold winter’s day, this really hits the spot. It is flavorful and comforting and good for you. Enjoy!
Ceci e Pasta | Pasta with Chickpeas
- 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly and drained
- 1.5 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 4-6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsely, roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 lb short pasta, such as Fideo (Cut Spaghetti) or Ditalini
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
- Set a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat for about a minute. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute, for about 2 minutes, until golden and fragrant.
- To the oil and garlic add the tomatoes, and toss, allowing the tomatoes to cook in the oil for just about a minute. Add chickpeas and stir to combine together.
- Cover the chickpeas with 6 cups of water. Add parsley, bay leaves and salt, and stir. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Fill a medium pot with water and set on another burner for the pasta. Allow the water to come to a boil and salt generously. Add the pasta and cook until al-dente.
- Drain the pasta and add to chickepea soup. Mix and serve hot.