Pasta e Ceci (A.K.A. "Pasta Cheechada")

This is a dish that I grew up on and enjoy making for my own family now. Growing up, this dish was always referred to as "pasta cheechada" by my great grandparents and grandparents. My family originated from a tiny town in Calabria so I am assuming that this was their Calabrian take on traditional pasta e fagioli. This soup is one of my favorite comfort foods and one that I make sure to always have the ingredients on hand to make. I hope that you enjoy this as much as we do! Comment down below and let me know what you think!


Ingredients: 4 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1/2 to 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper (optional) 3 Tbsp. of tomato paste
1 head (or more!) of fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup of white wine 1 24 ounce can/tetrapak of chopped tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano) 1 big bundle of fresh thyme (I tie it with some kitchen twine) 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed 1 Pecorino Romano cheese rind 6 cups of water 2 cups of frozen green peas 1/4 cup pasta of your choice (uncooked) salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pot, over medium heat.  Add the onions, a sprinkle of salt, and saute until the onions begin to brown.  Add the crushed red pepper and tomato paste.  Cook until the tomato paste deepens in color (keep stirring the mixture so it doesn't burn).  Add the garlic and saute for a minute.  Next, add the white wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot.  Add the tomatoes and fresh thyme bundle, cooking until the tomatoes are reduced by about half.  Next, add your chickpeas, Pecorino Romano rind, and water.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  After 25 minutes, add the peas and pasta.  Cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.  Serve with some nice crusty Italian bread and grated Pecorino Romano cheese.  Enjoy!

Photo by Becky Loves Cooking
Recipe by Becky Loves Cooking


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