“. . . inde domum me ad porri et ciceris refero laganique catinum,” [I was given a bowl of leeks and chickpea lasagna at my house], was reciting the Roman poet Orace (Satire).
Chickpea Soup, flavored with garlic and rosemary is not the same recipe Orace was enjoying but for sure Chickpea Soup is one of the oldest recipes in Roman cooking.
11 oz (300 g) dry chickpeas or 2 cans of chickpeas
3 + 2 tablespoons extra-
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 spring of rosemary
2 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 oz (60 g) fresh tomato, peeled and finely diced
salt and pepper
6 oz (180 g) pasta, short ditali,or spaghetti, broken in 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces.
If using dry chickpeas, soak the chickpeas in fresh water overnight or as long as necessary to make them tender. Drain the chickpeas when ready to cook. If using canned chickpeas, just drain them from the can, water, and rinse.
Place about one third of the chickpeas in a food processor and reduce to a fine paste.
In a large saucepan, put 3 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and the rosemary. Turn heat to medium. As soon as the oil becomes hot, add anchovies, and stir to dissolve. This step must be done very quickly to avoid browning the garlic and burning the anchovies.
Immediately add tomato . . .
. whole chickpeas ....
.... mashed chickpeas, and 4 cups (approximately 1 liter) of water. Bring to a boil.
Cook for about 20 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender.
Add freshly grated pepper. Anchovies can be very salty, therefore taste the soup and add salt only if necessary. Remove the rosemary.
Add the pasta and cook for the time indicated by the manufacturer, checking for readiness from time to time. Pasta is ready when al dente (firm but not too soft or overcooked).
Transfer to individual serving bowls and top with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve warm.