Chickpeas and tiny soup macaroni called ditalini served steaming hot in a bowl with a blanket of grated cheese on top, takes me right back to childhood. This was definitely considered a poor dish and a good way to feed the family without breaking the budget. Still is.
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound diced salami with black peppercorns
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon hot red pepper paste or 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup canned whole plum tomatoes
3 cups hot chicken broth
2 cups cooked ditalini
1 can chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Pecorino cheese for sprinkling on top (optional)
Heat the oil in a two quart sauce pan over medium heat and stir in the salami, Cook until the mixture is fragrant and the salami starts to render its fat. Stir in the celery and continue cooking until the celery softens. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook one minute longer. Stir in the oregano. Squeeze the tomatoes into the pan and add the chicken broth.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes Stir in the ditalini and chickpeas. Cook for a few minutes just until the soup is hot. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve in soup bowls. Pass cheese to sprinkle.
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