Tuesday, February 24, 2009

broccoli and chickpeas

Pasta has always held a special place in my heart. As a youngster experimenting in my parents’ kitchen, I wanted to try something exotic. Something my parents didn’t cook. Definitely not rice. Italian to me was exotic. However, what could a young cook do when instead of basil or parsley there was only fresh coriander in the fridge? And, although I did want to eat something different, it was (and still is) very difficult for me to ingest anything that wasn’t spicy. Well, one doesn’t question and just cooks. I made many a too-spicy marinara sauce in my younger years consisting of chilies, coriander, and tomatoes (home grown in the summertime). I had the opportunity to live in the Perugia, in the Umbria region of Italy, for a summer in 1996. The food was unlike any “Italian” food I had up to that point. Everything was simple and fresh. And I never once wished I were eating meat. Today I wanted to make a quick meal utilizing pasta and veggies. The result – broccoli and chickpeas with garlic and dried chilies. Although a bit of a challenge to eat (chickpeas roll around and don’t like to be fork-stabbed), it was all worth it in the end.

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