Pasta e ceci… the famous, delicious comfort pasta dish from southern Italy. I learnt the recipe from my friend, Emiko but I also read about it in Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, Jamie’s Italy. In the book he says he can’t quite decide if it is a pasta or a soup (a kind of thick one). He thinks it leans slightly more toward being a soup – so he put it in the soup chapter in the book. (Read more about the history of this pasta on Emiko’s blog here.)
Me and my friends cooked this pasta dish on a cloudy, grey summer afternoon when we gathered together to spend a long weekend at lake Balaton just like a year before. Although the weather was slightly cool we sat at the terrace and warmed up our bodies and souls with this comforting pasta lunch, served with a big bowl of mixed salad.
The usability of chickpeas is very versatile, they can be cooked and eaten cold in salads, cooked in stews, soups, ground into a flour, ground and shaped in balls and fried as falafel. They are a noted ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes such as hummus and curries. I didn’t know that some varieties of chickpeas can be popped and eaten like popcorn.
As for the nutritional value chickpeas are rich in fiber and it’s one of the best source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Combined with a whole grain such as whole-wheat protein, they provide amount of protein comparable to that of meat or dairy foods without the high calories or saturated fats. They can boost your energy because of their high iron content. They are also a great source of zinc and folate. So why not eat as much as you can?
We followed exactly Emiko’s recipe to cook this pasta meal so if you would like to try it, head over to my friend’s blog and cook it for yourself and your family!