This is another wonderful dish that I like to eat for dinner in winter time 🙂
Often this recipe is considered a side dish, but if you eat a good portion for me it’s enough to make a normal dinner 🙂
Like many recipes of the Tuscan cuisine, it’s a very tasty dish made with poor ingredients.
Cacciucco is usually associated to the very famous fish soup from Livorno, and that word in Tuscany means something like “mish-mash”, and this kind of dishes look like that a bit, a very tasty “mish-mash” of poor ingredients, and you can find several Tuscan recipes with that name.
This recipe it’s not a soup because it’s thicker, but somehow you can consider it also in that category.
I like all the legumes, especially in autumn/winter I eat them often, and chickpeas is one of my favorites. It takes a while to prepare them, but it is always worth it 🙂 and they are a healthy ingredient.
Actually there are some different variants under this name, you can find recipes with tomato, with chard, with onion and without, with other herbs, with anchovies or without: I’m going to show a basic recipe, but if you find the chard you can use it, it’s very good with it 🙂
And if you want to make it vegan/vegetarian, simply skip the anchovies (but you are gonna lose a good taste 😉 )
If it’s remaining don’t worry, it’s good also the day after 🙂 actually I suggest to cook some more than what you need, for example in this case some remained and we used it the day after for dinner as a side dish next to some meat of a very good boiled free range rooster, which was also a leftover from the previous lunch’s soup 🙂
Let’s see how to make it.
INGREDIENTS (4 people):
- 250 g of dry chickpeas (they will triple the weight, about)
- 350/400 g of tomato pulp (I used a canned tomato pulp since it’s winter, but also a good tomato sauce can be good)
- 1 white onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 anchovy fillets kept in salt (otherwise 3 fillets of anchovies kept in olive oil)
- 1 chili
- extra virgin olive oil, 3/4 tablespoons
- freshly ground black pepper
- a bunch of parsley
- bay leaves
- First of all, the day before you have to put the dry chickpeas in water: take a large bowl and cover the chickpeas with at least 1 liter of water, also 1,5 liters, and let it there for at least 12 hours, but you can go also until 24 hours. I left them for 16 hours.
- The day after, drain the chickpeas, put them in a cocotte/pot, cover them with water (2 liters about) and start boiling them, adding also a couple of bay leaves (no salt, otherwise they will get harder). When the water start boiling there will be a foam appearing on the surface: keep removing it with a perforated spoon, until it’s no more appearing. Let the chickpeas simmer at low heat, until they are cooked but not too soft (try them, for sure you need 2 hours/2 hours and half, maybe something more, it depends on how many hours they stayed in water before and what kind of chickpeas you use).
- When the chickpeas are ready drain them and keep them aside for later (also some of their water).
- Then in the same cocotte/pot heat the extra virgin olive oil, then add the onion cut very small, the anchovy fillets, the cloves of garlic and the chili. When the onion is soft add the tomato pulp and let it cook at medium heat for few minutes (you can remove the garlic, and if you have it you can add now the chard, previously chopped).
- After few minutes add the chickpeas and some of their water: it has to be liquid but not too much, don’t cover them completely with water. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
- When it’s almost ready season with a generous amount of ground black pepper and then the salt.
- Serve it in the dishes, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some freshly chopped parsley and croutons. I love this kind of dishes 😉