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Cucina Povera:
Tuscan Peasant Cooking
by Pamela Sheldon Johns

Ceci Stufati
In the area around Pisa, chickpeas are stewed with greens and anchovies, a delightful combination. Pasta can also be added for a complete one-dish meal.
Serves 4


    • 1 cup dried chickpeas, rinsed and picked over
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
    • 6 cups water, heated
    • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
    • 3 salt-cured anchovies, rinsed and mashed
    • 8 ounces Swiss chard, shredded
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place the chickpeas in a medium saucepan, and add water to cover by 2 inches. Soak overnight.

Drain the chickpeas. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onion is golden. Add the water, tomatoes, anchovies, and drained chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1½ hours. Add the chard and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the chickpeas are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


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