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Lagane e Ceci (Pasta & Chickpea Soup)

  Lagane e Ceci is a well-known southern Italian dish whose roots stem from ancient times when legumes were the staple ingredients, easily accessible with a very long shelf life.  Chickpeas, beans or lentils were alternated and cooked with hand made pasta, feeding the whole family.  This soup is made with dried chickpeas and hand-made ribbons of eggless pasta, but can also be made with  canned chickpeas which are just as good,  and  a short store-bought pasta like ditaletti. Mamma would make it this way when she was time poor.   We however preferred this soup with home-made pasta, rendering it more creamy. Lagane are believed to be the ancestors of today’s lasagne and the oldest form of pasta. The word lagane , like lasagna , comes from ancient Greece where it was used to describe a pasta made of flour and water, cooked on a stone, and then cut into strips. The Roman statesman  Cicero wrote about his passion for the Laganum  or laganas  and the Roman poet Horace, whose writings a

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