It can be hard coming up with new, easy, healthy and tasty dinner options around here. S isn't a fussy eater at all, but his Dad can be a bit allergic to the 'healthy' food, when he wants to be. This recipe was liked by all, in fact, it was devoured. I found it in Jamie's Italy, a book I stole from my little sister that is full of beautiful photography and luscious sounding food. For those in the UK, I found the baby pasta (whole wheat version) in Asda.
Pasta e Ceci
*adapted from Jamie Olivers Italy
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
A sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
400g/ 1 tin of chickpeas
750ml of chicken stock
200g ditalini or other small Italian "soup" pasta
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional: a small handful of fresh basil or parsley, leaves picked and torn
Parmesan to serve
- Put the finely chopped onion, celery, and garlic into a saucepan with a little extra virgin olive oil and the rosemary and cook as gently as possible, with the lid on, for about 15-20 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft, without any color.
- Drain your chickpeas well and rinse them in cold water, then add them to the pan and cover with 500ml of stock. Cook gently for half an hour and 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. If you don't have one, you can whiz it up in a food processor instead. Sieve the blended soup, and pour back into the pan. Add the reserved whole chickpeas, the pasta and the remaining 250ml of stock. Season the soup with salt and pepper, and simmer gently until the pasta is cooked.
- Serve drizzled with good-quality extra virgin olive oil and a good grating of Parmesan. Lovely sprinkled with some freshly torn basil or parsley.
Comfort in a bowl!
* the original recipe called for twice as many chickpeas, half the pasta and only 500ml of stock. I didn't have enough chickpeas, hence the increased pasta and stock quantities. I've also added 1 extra garlic clove (we love garlic over here) and the Parmesan. 'Cause we also love cheese.