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From the Salento with Love

Ciceri e Tria

It's a good time to cook something tricky and slow. I have wanted for some time to perfect a dish from the Salento, the southern most tip of Puglia in Italy - ciceri e tria. It is pasta with chick peas (ciceri in dialect) but so much more. The pasta, called tria in dialect, from an Arabic word, is flat hand cut strips of pasta like fettuccine. One third of the pasta is fried in olive oil and the rest boiled. The sauce is soupy and cooked for hours, with only chick peas, celery, tomato, garlic and parsley. Put together it is the essence of simplicity but has a complex texture due to the combination of the smooth soft boiled pasta, the crunch of the fried pasta and the chewiness of the chick peas. Topped with chilli and olive oil, it is perfect! Not a dish to whip up after work. It's a dish of simple ingredients and enough time.

(Recipe from Gianna Greco, Cooking Experience, Lecce, Italy)

For the pasta

500 g of mixed flour (or 400 g of wheat flour and 100 g of barley flour)


1 pinch of salt

For the chickpeas

300 g of dry chickpea

2/3 tomatoes

1 celery stick


1 clove of garlic


extra-virgin olive oil

1 dry hot chilli


Soak the chickpeas for 12 hours in water.

Put the flour on the working table. Create a well and slowly add water. Knead and keep adding water until it is a firm dough. Keep kneading, pressing it under the palm until you obtain a soft and elastic dough.

With the rolling pin roll out the dough until it is about 2 millimetres thick. Cut it into strips around 1 cm wide and about 15 cm long.

Lay the pasta out on a clean tea towel, previously dusted with flour. Let the pasta dry for a couple of hours.

Preparing the chickpeas: Drain the chickpeas and put them in a pan. Add tomatoes, cut in halves, the parsley and celery. Cover the chickpeas with water (the water must be 2 cm above the chickpeas). Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 hours.

When they are cooked add salt.

Now take a pan and add extra-virgin olive oil.

Heat the oil and add the garlic and the hot chilli seeds. When the garlic is brown take it out and discard and fry about a third of pasta in the oil. Drain the pasta on kitchen paper and keep the oil.

Cook the rest of the pasta in abundant salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes (the cooking depends on the thickness of the pasta).

Add the drained pasta to the chickpeas. Let everything cook for 1 minute and add the olive oil used for cooking the fried pasta. Serve immediately topped with the fried pasta. Mangia!

* this dish is vegan

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