Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pasta e Ceci

I was hanging out and chatting with some lovely folks at Duchess Jane tonight while I watched the finale of Top Chef. Jane hosts a little chat on Top Design. I was multi-tasking. While watching and chatting, I was also cooking. My dear friend, Kay at Gobstruck had shared a recipe for Pasta e Ceci with me.

The recipe is:

Pasta e Ceci
Serves 4

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 rib of celery, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil
a sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 14 oz cans of chickpeas
2 1/2 c chicken stock (I used broth...)
3 1/2 oz ditalini or other small soup pasta
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
optional: a small handful of fresh basil or parsley, leaves picked and torn

Put the onion, celery, and garlic into a saucepan with a little olive oil and the rosemary and cook as gently as possible, with the lid on for 15-20 minutes, until all the vegetables ae soft, without any color.

Drain the chickpeas well and rinse them in cold water, then add them to the pan and cover with the stock. Cook gently for half an hour then, using a slotted spoon, remove half the chickpeas and put them to one side in a bowl.

Puree the soup in the pan using a handheld immersion blender (or dump it in a blender/food processor and then pour the soup back into the pan.) Add the reserved whole chickpeas and the pasta, season the soup with salt and pepper, and simmer gently until the chickpeas are tender and the pasta is cooked.

At this point, if the soup is a little thick (mine was), pour in some boiling water from the kettle to thin it down. Served drizzled with good-quality extra virgin olive oil. Lovely sprinkled with some freshly torn basil or parsley. A real treat.

I don't have an immersion blender so I put my soup in my regular blender. I either put too much in the blender or didn't hold the lid down tightly enough.

Scalding soup on your face will detract from your enjoyment of your television watching, your chatting, and your consuming of soup. Damn. Ow. That's pretty damned painful.

If I can get a good picture of the soup, I'll post it. Right now, it's not beautiful but the taste is AMAZING. I love this soup and I'll make it again. I will purchase an immersion blender before I make it.

Good. Ow. Good. Yum.

I'll post about my happy reaction to the Top Chef finale tomorrow.

This soup is so good. It's a bit thick so I added some water to it when I re-heated it. It's also remarkably easy to make (except for the whole facial scalding stuff). I'll make this again and again.

The pasta I used was Acini di Pepe and it was a very nice size for the soup. I might experiment with that a bit.

I never realized that celery, onion, garlic, and rosemary could smell so good! Gently cooked in a little olive oil, it puts off the most amazing fragrance.

Make this soup! You'll love it!


Jane said...

Thanks! Can't wait to try it. Hope you're on the mend. I'm also hoping that you'll pretend to be interested in interior design just so that we can chat next Wednesday. :-D

Ima Wurdibitsch said...

I am on the mend. I think my lips suffered the worst of it.

Sure, I'll plan on pretending to be into design. Do I have to put people in armoirs or just laugh at them when they try to decorate like I would?

I'm really design impaired.

Oh, go check out Pink Navy (there's a link in my Amuse-Biatch post).