Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's the time of the season...

...for comfort food. What was an exceptionally beautiful October in Seattle has turned into a typically dreary November. By the time I leave work darkness has already descended, with only dim streetlights reflecting off a patchwork of puddles under a starless sky. Huddled under an awning, awaiting the bus, I strain my already myopic eyes attempting to read. I need something, after all, to keep my mind off the damp evening chill. Ultimately, it's the thought of a warm meal at home that makes it all worthwhile.

Tonight, after a quick stop at Fred Meyer, I had everything needed to make a comforting batch of pasta e ceci - pasta and chickpeas. While I hate to plagiarize Jamie Oliver again, I do have to give credit where credit is due, and this recipe is adapted from his Italy cookbook.

Gently sautee finely chopped celery, garlic, onion, and rosemary in a pot. When soft, add two cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas (or, as I did tonight, you can also substitute beans - such as cannellini - for some of the chick peas) and 2 1/4 C. broth. Simmer very gently for about half an hour, then use a slotted spoon to scoop out about half of the chick peas. Puree the remaining chick peas and broth, then add the whole chickpeas back to the mixture along with about 3-4 oz. of soup pasta such as ditalini. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and adding more broth as needed, until pasta is cooked. Season to taste, and drizzle over some olive oil if you like.

Mmmm.... Food like this almost makes November worth it (and Michael was much happier to have pasta e ceci to take to work rather than beet salad, let me tell you).

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