Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Stewed Black Chickpeas

Black Chickpeas flavour is more intense than the standard ones, they are ideal for many preparations, from soup to pasta dish to salad.
As big as a grain of corn, they have a black, wrinkled skin, whilst inside they have a white-yellow colour. Their flavour and nutritional characteristics are similar to those of common chickpeas but richer in iron, tastier and more aromatic.


Serves 2, Preparation time 10 mins + Soaking time 18 hrs, Cooking time 2 hours

  • 200 g black chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil – EVOO
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 30 g smoked pancetta – pork belly or lard
  • 1 small chilli pepper – optional

Method

For soaking:
soak black chickpeas in cold water for at least 18 hours, changing it at least a couple of times.

After the soaking time, drain the black chickpeas.

In the meantime, cut the bacon into cubes.

Add a couple of tablespoons of Evoo in a pot, brown two garlic cloves along with the chilli pepper (optional). Add diced pancetta, brown it for a few minutes.

Add black chickpeas, remove the garlic cloves. Cover with water and cook for about 1 hour and a half or 2 with a lid, add salt to taste, stirring occasionally and cooking on low flame.

Tip: You can also cook them with hot vegetable stock.

Add the bay leaves. When serving, remove the bay leaves and complete with a drizzle of olive oil.

Tip: Black chickpeas can also be cooked with a pressure cooker: this cooker does not alter the flavour and reduces cooking time by almost half. Cooking black chickpeas in the pressure cooker is very simple: once you put your legumes in the pot you have to pour water on them, close the lid and put the pot on a high flame. Once the pot emits the first whistle, you have to lower the flame and let the chickpeas cook for about 20 minutes. If, after this time, the black chickpeas still seem hard, you can leave them on the fire for other 20 mins until they are soft and ready to be served on the table.

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