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Ciceri e tria

Pugliese style pasta and chickpeas


To cook the chickpeas

  • 250g 1/2 lb dried chickpeas
  • 1 medium onion cut in half
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 1-2 stalks of celery
  • A bay leaf
  • A sprig of thyme
  • Salt

To make the pasta

  • 300g 10 oz finely ground semolina flour (semola rimacinata)
  • Water
  • Salt

To finish the dish

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic slightly crushed and peeled
  • 1-2 peperoncini or a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few cherry tomatoes split in two (optional)


  • Soak the dried chickpeas overnight, ideally 12 hours or more. Drain.
  • Put the chickpeas in a large pot (traditionally it would be a tall terracotta pot called a pignata) and cover with water by about five fingers. Add the rest of the listed ingredients . Bring to a simmer and cook over gentle heat until the chickpeas are tender. (In the alternative, cook under pressure for 20-30 minutes and let cool naturally.)
  • Mix the flour and salt, then add in enough water to make a pliable but firm dough. Knead for a good five minutes until you have a perfectly smooth ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Uncover the pasta and roll it out, but not too thinly, into a sheet or sheets about 3mm thick. (If you're using a pasta machine or attachment, this corresponds to the 3 setting.) Set aside to dry. When the pasta has dried out enough that it has lost any stickiness, cut the sheets into strips about 10-15 cm/4-6 inches long.
  • To finish the dish, in a large braiser or sauté pan, gently sauté the garlic and hot pepper until the garlic is just beginning to brown around the edges. If using the cherry tomatoes, add them now and let them melt a bit in the scented oil.
  • Then, with a slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas to the scented oil, and turn them so they are well covered with the oil. Simmer for a few minutes. Add enough of the chickpeas' cooking liquid so that the chickpeas are just covered. Continue simmering, crushing some of the chickpeas against the side of the pan so they melt into and thicken the liquid. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  • While the chickpeas are simmering. take about 1/3 of the tria and fry them until golden brown in abundant olive oil, in a skillet wide enough to hold them all in a single layer. If need be, proceed in batches. As they brown, transfer the fried pasta to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  • Take the remaining pasta and cook it briefly in well salted water, in the usual manner. Drain the boiled pasta and transfer it to the pan with the simmering chickpeas. Mix everything well, adding another ladleful of the chickpea cooking liquid if things look a bit dry.
  • Serve, topped with the fried pasta, and serve right away.