Minestra di ceci from Matera. A few weeks ago some friends and I visited the beautiful town of Matera in Basilicata. After a very pleasant morning sightseeing we visited a restaurant that had been recommended in the ‘Slow Food’ guide – ‘Le Botteghe’ in Piazza San Pietro Barisano. Wonderful simple food. This is my attempt to recreate one of their specialities.
- 250g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
- 150g fresh tagliatelle, cut into 5cm lengths
- 30g smoked pancetta, cubed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 sprig rosemary
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Fry the pancetta and garlic cloves in a little olive oil for a few minutes.
- Add the chickpeas together with a litre of water and bring to the boil.
- Add the rosemary, cover and cook over a moderate heat for around 2 hours.
- Remove the rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the taglietelle and cook for a further few minutes.
- This dish is sometimes served topped with fried breadcrumbs.
Variation: When the chickpeas are cooked remove half the chickpeas, liquidize them and return them to the soup.