Here is another typical dish of the Italian traditional cuisine that’s a bit underestimated outside of Italy. Yet chickpeas nutritious and digestible, a good source of essential fatty acids, containing a high percentage of carbohydrates. 100 grams of cooked chickpeas provides only 120 calories, a lot of vitamins, proteins and minerals, especially iron and calcium.
I originally thought of adding the word “skinny” to the title of this recipe. I know for a fact that the word “skinny” is tempting us all! I wouldn’t be cheating since this “pasta and chickpeas” is definitely lighter than any lasagne dish or pizza. As you can see from the pics, it is not drowning in melting cheese (I let mac and cheese win the prize of foodporn par excellence).
However, this is not even what we would call skinny in Italy: it is just what we normally eat, what my mum still cooks at least a couple of times a month. Something easy to make that includes all the ingredients we love the most: pasta, tomatoes, Parmesan and a perfect measure of fragrant olive oil. Can you see why I like this dish so much?
Pasta e Ceci (Chickpea with Pasta) with Sun dried Tomatoes
- 1 can cooked chickpeas
- 4-5 cherry tomatoes
- 1 litre of cooking water
- 100 g of cut spaghetti or small pasta shapes
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp dried chilli optional
- 4-5 sun dried tomatoes chopped
- 25 ml of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of Parmesan
- Salt and chopped parsley to season
- Pour the olive oil into a heavy based saucepan and heat gently.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan and fry over a gentle heat till soft and golden.
- Add the chopped tomatoes (sun dired tomatoes included) and stir fry for a couple of minutes before adding the cooked chickpeas, water and the seasonings. Simmer for approx 10 mins, then remove about half of the soup and blend (I used a blender). Keep aside.
- Add the raw pasta to the pot then simmer gently, stirring regularly to make sure the pasta doesn't start sticking to the base of the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add a little more water if necessary.
- Once the pasta is almost done, return the pureed soup to the pan, cook for one minute more (if you want to evaporate all the liquids and get it denser) then let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan and chopped parsley.