I really need to learn how to speak Italian. Ceci – isn’t that the best word ever!? Chick pea. Garbanzo bean. Boo. Ceci. The best. It sounds exactly how it looks – cute and little.
So occasionally on a Friday night, I like to stay in with a glass of wine (OK. A bottle.) and watch documentaries. Currently I’m enjoying a British man tell me all I need to know about the wildlife and eco-systems of India. If you haven’t noticed that Netflix has the “Wildest” series on it, and you haven’t started watching it, I think you should. And eat this meal, whilst doing it. It would truly be rude not to. 🙂
Pasta e Ceci
Serves 2 – 3, or 1 with leftovers for lunches
- A couple turns of EVOO
- 3/4 cup white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced (add a tad of the oil to the pan for some added flavour)
- 1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans, or CECI!), drained and rinsed
- 2 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup fresh herbs – chopped – I used flat-leaf parsley, basil, and some thyme
- Sprinkling of whole-wheat bread crumbs (Panko), optional
- Crumbling of feta cheese, optional
Put a pot of water for the pasta onto boil – you’ll want to create your sauce while the pasta is cooking.
In a large sauteuse, heat a couple turns of the pan of EVOO, on medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic when hot, and sauté until fragrant and translucent ~ 3 minutes. Toss in the sundried tomatoes and ceci, along with a little bit of the sundried tomato oil, and toss to coat. Add in 1/2 cup of pasta water, reduce heat to medium low, and allow to simmer while the pasta finishes cooking. Season with a pinch of coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Strain your pasta, reserving another cup of pasta water, add in half of it, and the remaining ingredients; fresh tomatoes and herbs, and then add the pasta on top of all of that. Toss the pasta through – gauging whether you need a bit more pasta water, you want there to be a sauce-like quality to the pasta.
Serve and top with a sprinkling of whole-wheat Panko for crunch, and a little feta cheese for a pop of brine.
Sometimes you just need a salty and comforting pasta to end your week. Throw a glass of Pinot Grigio on the side of this one, and call it Italian night.