|CLASSIC pasta||chick-pea soup with pancetta and porcini|
This is another simple-to-prepare and wonderful taste treat, courtesy of
Marcella Hazan. It is adapted from "Marcella's Italian Kitchen" (see
library). With the porcini it is a perfect
Chick-peas have been a cooking staple for thousands of years, and appear to great advantage in soups. You can use dried chick-peas in any of the recipes, but canned ones are very good and save a lot of soaking and cooking.
Soak the dried porcini in the hot water for twenty minutes. Remove them, squeeze the moisture out, and roughly chop them. Reserve the mushroom liquid!
Put the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and onion. After about three minutes, when the onion becomes soft and a light gold color, add the carrots and celery.
Cook carefully: until the vegetables are starting to brown but while they remain tender. Do not overcook them. Dissolve the tomato paste into the mushroom liquid, stirring well, and then add this mixture to the pot.
Continue cooking until that liquid has boiled away.
Drain the chick-peas. Add them to the pot. Cook for about ten minutes. Add a half teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Stir.
Add the broth and simmer for several minutes, until hot. Taste and adjust for salt. Serve, with a sprig of parsley on top and the parmesan on the side.