(Or for the layman, chickpeas with rosemary, garlic and hot pepper.)
Chickpeas don’t get a lot of love. Either they’re mashed up in hummus or served up cold and lonely on the salad bar. This super simple recipe gives the chickpea the treatment it deserves! I first tasted this dish as an antipasto in a little Roman restaurant near the Pantheon. Coated in olive oil infused with garlic, rosemary and peperoncino, these ceci took on a new life. So simple, and disturbingly good for a dish that takes not even 10 minutes to make!
Ceci con Rosmarino e Peperoncino
1 can of chickpeas, drained
2 cloves of garlic
Sprig of fresh rosemary
Peperoncino flakes, to taste
Cover the bottom of your pan with olive oil and put it over a medium flame.
Throw in the garlic and use this Italian trick. Carefully hold the pan so the oil pools to one side. This way the garlic, fully immersed in the hot oil, will cook thoroughly and not burn as easily.* Once the garlic starts to get golden, add in the rosemary and peperoncino flakes. Let the flavors meld while the garlic keeps cooking. Set the pan normally on the burner and add the chickpeas. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, just to make sure the beans are warmed. Salt and pepper to suit your taste and enjoy!
(*Just to illustrate the method. Notice I wrote hold the pan carefully and not prop it up on the coffee maker. We don’t need any hot oil incidents here! )
The key to this easy recipe is using enough olive oil. There should be more than enough to fry the garlic and to coat the chickpeas. Once you’re done devouring the ceci, look and you’ve got a nice pool of a spicy, rosemary olive oil left. Go in for the kill with some fresh bread. It’s too good to leave behind.