After significant indulgence over the festive period it was necessary to neutralise those meaty humors with some leguminous matter. Over to Shona.
In fact, if the pancetta was omitted this could be vegetarian. God forbid.
Alastair Little in Italian Food has a very fine recipe for pasta e ceci i.e. pasta with chick peas which he describes as ‘spicy, oily, mealy and cheesy’. Lovely. If somewhat atropical…..
500g chick peas, soaked overnight, and then cooked till soft with
- 1 large chili
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary (not in darwin….)
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 2 onions, 2 carrots, 1 celery stick, 100g pancetta all finely diced
- The chick peas
- 200g tinned tomatoes
- Bouquet garni (rosemary/ bay leaf/ parsley stalks/ thyme bound together with cotton thread)
- Topped up with water covering 3cm
Simmer for 30-40mins. Add 300g pasta (ditali specified, actually ditalini)
Cook on a very low heat until the pasta is soft. It may require a top up with water if it’s very dry. Leave covered for a while with the heat off to do it’s magical alchemy thing.
To serve, stir in a slug of olive oil and MASSES of parmesan, for that extra healthy detoxifying effect. I also had a jar of toasted chili oil for a little extra spice. Stella Bella tempranillo 2008. I would love to have this with some Serrano jamon……