This dish is made with ordinary ingredients found in nearly every Mediterranean kitchen.
The fresh chickpeas [ciccri tal-qatta] are in season right now, a very short season. I use a mix of fresh and dried chickpeas and when fresh chickpeas are not in season, this pasta is just as delicious with dried chickpeas.
Use approximately equal amounts of fresh and dried chickpeas.
Cook the dried chickpeas in plenty of water. If you have not soaked them, add 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda once the water starts to boil, then lower the heat and cook until they soften.
You will need:
200g fresh chickpeas
200g chickpeas (cooked and drained)
4 large tomatoes, chopped
70g pancetta, chopped
2 anchovy fillets
1 natural no-additive stock cube
1 large onion finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, grated
150g canned chopped tomatoes
a handful of fresh mint leaves
a handful of parsley
salt and pepper
freshly grated pecorino cheese to serve
Drizzle some olive oil into a heavy pan and gently cook the chopped garlic and onion on low heat. Add the pancetta and anchovies, cook for 5 minutes. Add half the cooked chickpeas, then half the parsley and mint. Add the stock cube and 400ml water. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the pasta and top with more water just to cover the pasta. Stir and add the tinned tomatoes and half the fresh chickpeas.
When the pasta is nearly cooked add half of the rest of the chickpeas and keep some aside to garnish the dish.
Drizzle some olive oil. Garnish with fresh mint and parsley, some fresh chopped tomatoes and some fresh uncooked chickpeas. Season with ground pepper and serve immediately with grated pecorino cheese.