I’m super excited to share today’s recipe! I did a lot of research to figure out a good method of making this. Ciceri e tria- or pasta and chickpeas- is an Italian dish adapted from Arab cooking styles by way of Arab rule in Apulia in the southern part of the peninsula. In this dish, there’s chickpeas, fresh pasta, and fried pasta, with the fried pasta giving the mouthfeel of a heartier, meatier dish in times of meat scarcity. It can be made with or without a lot of broth, but the water I used to cook the chickpeas turned into such a delicious broth with the aromatics I simmered in it that I couldn’t bear to waste it! So lots of broth it was. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cans chickpeas
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 red onion
  • salt
  • chili flakes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 2 cups semolina (durum) flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4-1 cup vegetable oil

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I used canned chickpeas to avoid soaking my peas overnight, but feel free to substitute for dried chickpeas. To start, I very roughly chopped my celery and onion into huge chunks. I added both, along with my chickpeas, to a stockpot. Then, I poured water over top until the water reached about three times as high as the beans. Then, I added in the cloves of garlic, the bay leaves, and about a tablespoon of chili flakes- feel free to add more or less. Then, I set the pot to simmer with a lid on.

Then, I prepped the pasta dough, mixing together the two flours with water and a little salt until the dough had a nice, smooth, elastic texture. I rolled out the dough and cut it all into little strips, about half a finger’s size. I set them aside to dry while the chickpeas simmered.

After the pasta was dry, I checked on the chickpeas and added salt to the broth to taste. I heated up the oil in a saucepan, using about a half inch of oil. All I did to fry was drop about 1/3 of the pasta into the hot oil in shifts, making sure not to crowd the pan. Once the pasta looked thoroughly golden and bubbly, I checked if it was crispy and then transferred to a plate with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Once all of my pasta was fried, I took the onions, bay leaves, garlic cloves, and celery out of the stockpot added the remaining pasta, cooking until tender. I tasted the broth and added a little more salt and chili flakes to taste. Then, I just served big bowls of the chickpeas, broth, and fresh pasta, topping with the fried pasta. Yum!

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