Monday, April 4, 2011

Pasta e Ceci

AKA, Noodles with Garbanzo Beans. 

I'm out of meals from my weekly menu.  I worked on a new menu and grocery list today, so I'll hit up the store for the next round tomorrow.  But I still needed dinner for tonite.  While going through my accordion file full of recipes, I came across one that I had all the ingredients for.  Plus, it sounded quick and easy.  Thank you Jamie Oliver.  It almost sounded too basic to be any good.  Shows how much I know.  It was REALLY good.

Here's the recipe with my notes:

2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped or you can substitute carrots for all or some of the celery (I used one of each)
2 cloves minced garlic (I used 4)
1 rosemary sprig, leaves removed and chopped (I used a pinch of dried)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (I used less because of the kids - The Dad added more at the table)
1 quart cooked garbanzo beans, or two 14-oz cans, rinsed and drained (I used canned)
3 1/2 C vegetable broth (I had chicken broth)
5 oz ditalini pasta (I subbed macaroni)
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in soup pot over med-high heat.  Add the onion, celery and/or carrot, and saute just until tender, about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic, rosemary and red pepper flakes.  Saute for 2 minutes, then add garbanzo beans and broth.  (I only added one can of the garbanzos at this point.)  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, and cook just until the beans are heated through, about 5 minutes.  Remove half of the beans with a slotted spoon and set them aside.  (This is why I only added half to start with.)

Puree the soup in the pan with an immersion blender or blend in a blender or food processor.  (I used an immersion blender, but it didn't exactly puree everything.  Which turned out to be fine.)  Add reserved whole garbanzos and the pasta to the pot.  Season with pepper and simmer gently until the beans are very tender and the pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes.  Add more liquid if necessary.  (I did not.)  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and drizzle with some high quality olive oil. 

I also added some grated parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves.  We had it with a green salad and bread.  Really really good.

Here it is in my bowl:

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