Pasta e ceci is a very simple, tasty Italian dish that happens to be vegan.
Ceci, or chickpeas, give this pasta robustness. The garlic and rosemary, sautéed in olive oil, add amazing flavor and fragrance.
An interesting story on the role chickpeas played in an event in Italian history:
Sicily was under the rule of the French-Angio until 1282, when they were overthrown in a revolt known as the War of the Vespers. Apparently, the only way to distinguish the French from the local Sicilians was by their heavy French accent when they spoke Italian or Sicilian. The revolutionaries identified the French by holding up a chickpea and asking them to say what it is. If they pronounced the Sicilian word for chickpeas (“ciciri”) correctly they were released.
Pasta e ceci
Adapted from La Cucina Italiana Magazine (Nov-2013)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped coarsely
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup pureed and strained tomatoes
15 ounces cooked chick peas
1/2 cup water
salt to taste
8 ounces small tubular macaroni, cooked and drained
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and rosemary. Saute until the garlic is slightly browned. The original recipe recommends removing the garlic. I like to keep it in.
Add pureed tomatoes. Reduce heat to gentle simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.
Add chickpeas and water. Cook an additional 15 minutes. Salt to taste.
Remove about 1 cup of the chickpeas with some sauce. Puree in a food processor.
Return puree to the pan and mix well.
Add the cooked, drained pasta. Mix well. Add more water if needed.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.