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Dinner Tonight: Chickpea and Pasta Soup

Pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) is a dish found all over Italy, though the type of bean and pasta shape seems to vary from region to region, town to town, kitchen to kitchen. From borlotti with tubettini, to cannelini with ditalini, the only thing everyone agrees on is that it's a dish of peasant origin and it's wonderfully filling and hearty. And rock-bottom cheap.

Technically this recipe for chickpea and pasta soup would be called pasta e ceci, but the principle behind it—legumes and pasta—is the same. The key to its success is using generous amounts of herbs, both the rosemary that's cooked into the base of the soup and the parsley to finish. Without them, the result is monochromatic brown food—hearty, but bland. I doubled the herbs and added lemon juice to the original recipe from Jamie's Italy, giving it the needed punch; even chili flakes might be welcome next time. The recipe comes from Jamie Oliver's

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. He is currently living for the year in Tartu, Estonia.

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