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Pasta e Ceci Soup

The combination of pasta and legumes is a perennial favorite in Roman cuisine. In this rustic soup, ceci beans (also known as chickpeas or garbanzos) are paired with tender pasta and bathed in a hearty broth—delicious proof that the simple can be sublime.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 carrots, finely diced 
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic 
  • 1/3 cup diced tomato 
  • 1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight, drained and rinsed 
  • 6 cups water 
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths 
  • Kosher salt, to taste  
  • 1/2 lb. tubetti pasta, cooked until al dente and drained 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving 

Directions:

In a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the 3 Tbs. olive oil. Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, water and thyme sprigs, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the chickpeas are tender, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.

Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the rosemary and fry, 
stirring occasionally, until crisp, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season lightly with salt.

Strain the chickpea mixture through a colander, reserving the cooking liquid. Place 2 cups of the chickpea mixture in a wide, shallow bowl and mash until almost smooth. Transfer to a large fry pan. Add the remaining chickpea mixture and 1 cup of the cooking liquid and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and the 1/2 cup olive oil and stir until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, and garnish with the fried rosemary and cheese shavings. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.