Here's our favorite way to serve this humble legume. We don't really have a name for this recipe and, we cannot tell a lie, it's not pretty. But it's so tasty that we don't think you'll object.
Serves 4 – 6
- 1 pound of cicerchie from Bartolini (1 bag)
- 1 carrot
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 onion, halved
- 1 head of garlic, halved
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4" strips
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup tomato sauce (you can use mashed canned tomatoes here too)
- salt and pepper
- chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
Start this the night before. Place the cicerchie in a bowl and cover with cold water by at least 2 inches. Soak for 12 hours.
Fill a soup pot with water and place the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf and drained cicerchie in the pot and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 25 - 30 minutes or until the cicerchie are tender. Reserve one cup of the liquid for use later. Remove vegetables and bay leaf, drain and set aside.
In a saute pan, heat the olive oil and add the bacon and onion and saute until the onion is translucent and the bacon is cooked, but not crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato sauce and lower the heat to low - let simmer for 10 minutes.
Take about 1/3 of the cicerchie and place in another small bowl. Using the back of a fork or a spoon, or using a coarse mesh strainer, mash the cicerchie and stir into the sauce. Let simmer and thicken for 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the cicerchie and, if needed, add a little of the reserved cooking liquid and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Serve with crusty bread and a good splash of extra virgin olive oil.