Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

POPUP_MatiaImmigration is an event of our times. New elements, cultures and black migrants continue to arrive at our shores.

Today we are talking about the unusual black ceci (chick peas).  Let’s go to Rapolano, where Franco Bordoni will explain this enigma.

His estate, the Podere Pereto, has been famous for the discovery of this unusual legume in the 1990’s.

The “cece nero” arrives from Puglia thanks to some friends of Franco, who falls in love with the unusual legume and decides to grow it on his farm.

After almost 5 years, he finally is successful in seminating it and it becomes one of his products. The “cece nero” is unusual because of its black skin but also because of its lightcolored pulp, like that of the classic chickpea. It is small and has a wrinkly skin. In general, it has more fiber and is more rustic than the classic chickpea.

You can also see from the plant that it is different: it is smaller and is planted in April and picked mid-July. The pod doesn’t dry, but remains green and continues its vegetation. This complicates things, making it difficult to know the right moment for collection.

Experience has shown when the plant should be picked and shelled. This is the beginning of a process which begins with sorting. The Podere Pereto is a 100% organic farm.

Everything grows in its fields, so there are always herbs that need to be separated. Then, the precious black chickpeas have to wait about a month tomake sure it dries well and in a natural way so that there are no infestations or excess humidity.

Now comes the tasting… . I eat the “cece nero” like this:.

I soak the chickpeas in abundant cold water which I change after three hours. Then I let them soak for another 8 hours. Then they are ready to cook.

I put cold water on the stove and bring it to a slow boil, add a little salt and let the ceci cook for about an hour. When they are ready, I put some aside and add olive oil flavored with garlic and rosemary (slowly heated in the oil and then cooled) to the rest together with the cooking water. Be careful not to burn everything!!!

Then I put the ceci, their water, the flavored oil and a bit of hot pepper in the blender and mix. Then I put it all through a sieve and obtain a gray colored cream.

I then boil cleaned shrimp in water acidulated with lemon and white wine (leaving only the head and tail on the shrimp). I place the cooked shrimp on the cream of ceci and add crude olive oil and the rest of the black chickpeas.

Serve warm. You will make a hit, especially during hot summer nights. See you next time!

Matia Barciulli, chef, Technical coordinator Antinori’s restaurants… and father of Brando