Sunday, May 2, 2010

Carmela Soprano and Anna Sultana's Pasta E Ceci (Pasta and Chickpeas, Maltese Style)

Sorry I'm a bit late with today's posting.  Yesterday was my sixtieth birthday and, as Bob Crachet said, I was making rather merry.
What're you gonna do?  Fire me?

Back to Entertaining with The Sopranos...  

It's amazing the way a good photo can make something simple look fantastic.  When I'm flipping through Entertaining with The Sopranos, I can understand how folks who never had to make these things can be impressed with the title of a recipe.  If it has a foreign name, even hot dogs and beans can seem exotic. 

Pasta E Ceci is a Mediterranean version of hot dogs and beans.  We're talking noodles and beans here.

This is one of those times when Carmela and my Ma are on the same wave length.  Well, okay, Carmela gets a little fancy.  She adds a couple of ounces of pancetta.  Since the recipe is supposed to serve 6, she's using the meat as a garnish.  

Ma served a more honest Pasta E Ceci.  Hers was meatless.  It made sense.  If you were having pork and beans you wouldn't expect to see a pork chop instead of that lump of lard that passes for pork.     

With or without pancetta Pasta E Ceci is a watery tomato sauce with garlic, crushed red pepper, 2 cans of chickpeas (you can find them right next to the pork and beans) and pasta.  

Carmela's recipe calls for 8 ounces spaghetti, broken into bite-sized pieces.  Don't go to any trouble.  Elbow macaroni will do just fine.  Since the sauce is a bit thin, it's eaten with a spoon, as a soup.  The extra liquid is supposed to fill you up.

Hey, if it wasn't the end of the month, you wouldn't be eating Pasta E Ceci.

Another recipe down.  Sixty-four more to go.   

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