In the mood for something good, tasty, simple and sustainable? The recipe below will give you all of that. It is an easy dish that is often prepared at home, especially in the south of Italy. It’s definitely not something I’ve concocted. All credits go to my boyfriend and his family.

Ingredients: (2 to 4 portions)
200 grams of boiled chickpeas in their broth*
80 grams of wholegrain pasta
5-6 gloves of garlic (who cares if you smell, view at as a natural 1,5 m. buffer)
1 finely chopped carrot
1 finely chopped branch of celery
A full hand of fresh parsley
2 tbsp of milk (we used oatmeal milk)
1/2 finely chopped spring onion
Chili flakes
Olive oil (you can also use some high quality lard, instead of oil, but this is risky, because it’s very difficult to obtain high quality lard, so I suggest using olive oil instead)
Salt to taste

*Use dried chickpeas, not the ones from a can please.

Preparation:
1.The preparation starts the evening before by soaking the dried chickpeas. The dried chickpeas are a lot lighter in weight than their soaked version, so you can choose to soak less than 200 grams, but honestly, if you’re already making the effort to soak chickpeas for at least 8 hours, you might as well soak some more and store the leftovers for another dish.
2.After a whole night of soaking, you can refresh the water and start boiling the chickpeas for about two hours. Make sure you add some salt to this water and make sure you use enough water, so that they can boil softly for two hours without getting dry.
3.After about half an hour of cooking it might be a good idea to get rid of some of the foam that starts to float on top of the cooking water. These are basically proteins, but they do not really improve the taste.
4.After the two hours, you can chop four/five of the gloves of garlic in little pieces and add them to the chickpeas, while everything is still softly boiling. Add the celery, carrot and oatmealmilk and then add salt to taste.
5.Let this boil for about 30 minutes before adding the pasta. If you use something like spaghetti it would be good to break the spaghetti in half. Do not boil the pasta before throwing them into the chickpea broth, they should cook together with the rest. Do check the cooking time of the pasta and don’t cook it any longer than the suggested time.
6.Meanwhile you can put a nice amount of olive oil in a pan and heat it. Cut the fifth/sixth clove of garlic in pieces and add the garlic, chili flakes and spring onion to the hot oil. Fry it shortly before adding it to the chickpea broth as well.
7.Add the parsley to the broth, stir it and then serve.
8.Should it be looking a little bit like a soup? Yes it should. (If you have leftovers, you can leave the chickpeas in a closed pot on your stove and they will have soaked up most of the broth when you want to eat them the next day. This is when you can really eat it like a pasta).

If you don’t like it spicy, you can exclude the chili flakes. They can also be added to taste afterwards instead.

For us this is usually only one of the dishes we eat during lunch or dinner. So we would certainly add some vegetables on the side, such as a fresh carrot salad and/or some cooked vegetables and maybe we would cook an egg in tomato sauce if we were still hungry. You can also increase the amount of chickpeas of course.
To make the meal more balanced I would certainly not be shy with olive oil and add an extra vegetable dish to it.

Enjoy your chickpea pasta/soup!

From Italy with love,

Merel