Tuscans love chickpeas, ceci, so much so that in the coastal areas of Livorno and Pisa a chickpea flour cake has been named boldly as ‘gold of Pisa’. But this protein bomb is a good source of zinc and folate and can assist in lowering of cholesterol in the bloodstream. It is also one of the earliest cultivated pods, and in the Middle East they have found remains that were 7500 years old. By the Bronze Age chickpeas were already known in Italy. The ancient Romans found some good use for them and roasted them as a snack or cooked them into a broth. This creamy pasta dish mixes the subtle characteristic taste of the chickpeas with tomato and fresh rosemary. You get the best results by serving it with short hollow pasta.
2 cans (à 265 gr/9 1/3 oz) chickpeas
olive oil for frying
1 onion, sliced
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
120 gr/4 1/3 oz bacon, sliced (optional)
1 can peeled tomatoes
fresh rosemary, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
mezzi rigatoni or other hollow pasta
Puree 1 can of chickpeas in a blender or a food processor until smooth. Set aside. Saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion softens. Add the bacon slices and continue frying. Add the pureed chickpeas and mix well with the onion and garlic, then add the peeled tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and fresh rosemary. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add water if necessary. Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente in a pot filled with salted boiling water. Drain the pasta and mix it with the chickpea sauce. Garnish each plate with fresh rosemary and serve immediately.