Ceci Neri con le Seppie
7 years! It is shocking that another year has gone by and we find ourselves on the opposite end of the world, again. Italicious has served in some ways as a log for the past 7 years of my life, it has travelled with me through our first few years of marriage, through my first go at motherhood, through some serious heartbreak and then through the joy that came from the birth of my youngest daughter. It has travelled with me through the last few months of our life in Rome, with that dimly lit kitchen and warming up to writing my own recipes. It moved to Charleston where I became part of such a rich food community as a board member of Slow Food Charleston and just soaked up the awesome food culture that thrives there. Then on to the rich agrarian Puglia where every trip to the market uncovered a new treasure, every knock on the door from a neighbor with something homemade that they wanted to share with us, I miss those orecchiette that Domenica would bring us. Now we find ourselves in the Pacific Northwest, this Southern-East Coast girl and I still don’t know what to make of it. I can’t wait to look back on this a year from now and see how far I’ve come.
This is one of the last recipes that I have left from our life in Puglia, it is a very traditional recipe, taken from a wonderful Slow Food restaurant in Ceglie Messapica, Cibus. Black chickpeas are fairly easy to find in those parts, and even though they take twice the amount of time to cook, they are much nuttier in flavor and pair so perfectly with seafood. I tried this recipe at Cibus with baccalà, salted cod as a soup, it was creamy and delicious, when I came across this recipe in my Puglia cookbook, I knew I had to try it at home.
Ceci Neri con le Seppie
adapted and translated from Ricette di osterie della Puglia. Mare, erbe e fornelli Slow Food Editor
- 1/2 kilo (1 lb) of black chickpeas (gniur)
- 2 cuttlefish, the recipe includes the ink sack, but I avoided the mess and left it out, cut into strips
- 200 grams (about 1/2 a pound) of ripe cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of shallots, minced
- 1 celery stalk, minced
- 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Soak your chickpeas overnight, then rinse them and cook them in salty water. Use whatever you find works best, pressure cooker, crock pot or just a slow (2 hour!) cook on the stove, the recipe just tells you to boil them!
In a heavy bottomed soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots and the celery, cooking them until they become transparent. Add the cuttlefish and the ink from the sacks, if you are using them, stirring everything. Add the tomatoes and the cooked beans, strained. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Cook for 20 minutes and if necessary add vegetable broth. Serve with crusty bread.
Three Years Ago: Alici Indorate e Fritte
Four Years Ago: Cold Asparagus Salad with Sesame Seeds
Five Years Ago: Frittura di Funghi Porcini
Seven Years Ago: Cuttlefish over Spaghetti with a Tomato – Olive sauce & Pasta e Fagioli