Monday, 13 February 2012

Let's Split!

Bavette con Ceci, Sedano e Pomodoro Secco
Bavette with Yellow Split-Peas, Celery and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Here's a Summery-looking, Wintery dish for you! I based this idea on the traditional Sicilian dish of pasta soup with Garbanzo's, chick-peas, or split peas, whatever it is that you call them where you happen to live;-) I love the nutty flavor of split-peas with pasta- they are filling and versatile and basically just a very good idea!

I decided to not make a soup in this incarnation of the dish and to go in a slightly different direction. I wanted to make it a quick, easy and yes- you will be surprised about this- completely vegetarian! That's right... not my usual, "vegetarian with a touch of bacon", but a pure and simple meat-free dish. And this is how I did it!

 The split-peas that I used, were bought at my local Indian supermarket, under the name of "Chana Dal"- which are the shelled kernels of of the black chick peas. They are a little smaller in size- but a lot nicer to eat than the regular chick peas that shed their shells whilst boiling and result in having a bowl full of floating skins...

So- down to business! This is another one of those easy recipes, which just takes a little careful timing- but will be all the swifter and more convenient for it! The chick peas went into a saucepan filled with plenty of boiling water for 10 minutes. I used a handful per person- and you are going to be thinking, "that's an awful lot of water for a handful of peas!"... but we will move on swiftly to step 2, which is that we then add the pasta, stir well and maintain the heat at a steady simmer, for 7-8 minutes.

Whilst the pasta is boiling, slice a stick of celery thinly, a Spring onion and some sun-dried tomatoes. Also, chop a little parsley finely and grate a little salted ricotta for later. But for now, get the celery, onion and garlic going at a relatively high heat and then get back to the pasta and drain it. Before it drips completely dry, transfer it to the frying pan and mix it together with the other ingredients. Now add a good splash of milk and grate with nutmeg.
Keep stirring until the pasta absorbs the milk mostly and turns the rest into a nice sauce with all of the other ingredients!

Serve with some coarsely ground black pepper and a little grated ricotta cheese- and buon apetito!

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