Pasta & Chickpea Soup Recipe
1 cup dried chickpeas
3 garlic cloves, peeled
6 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
¼ cup diced beef
1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 ½ cups water
1 ¼ cups ditalini or other short hollow pasta
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
Place the chickpeas in a bowl, add cold water to cover and leave to soak overnight. Drain, rinse well and drain again.
Place the chickpeas in a large pan, add water to cover and bring to the boil. Cook for 15 minutes, then drain, rinse and drain again. Return the chickpeas to the pan. Add water to cover, one garlic clove, the bay leaf, half the olive oil and a pinch of pepper. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 2 hours, until tender. Add more boiling water if necessary to keep the chickpeas covered.
Remove and discard the bay leaf. Pass about half the chickpeas through a food mill or process in a food processor with a little cooking liquid. Return the purée to the pan with the rest of the chickpeas and the remaining cooking water
Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan. Add the beef, rosemary and the remaining garlic cloves and cook gently, stirring frequently, until just golden. Remove and discard the rosemary and garlic.
Stir the meat with its flavored oil into the chickpea mixture. Add the measured water and bring to the boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper Stir in the pasta, and cook for about 10 minutes until it is just tender Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls and serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese, if you like.