Do you mind if I post a recipe - a redux of a recipe, even - without a photo? No? Good. I promise that it is delcious, and since I know so many of you made turkey stock a few weeks ago, I know you'll have amost everything on hand. For this recipe, I used dried chick peas, and I think it really made the difference. Canned beans were okay, but the dried beans had a completely different texture and flavor - very firm without being chalky or watery and tinny, the way canned beans can sometimes be, and the flavor had depth and nuttiness. Of course, I'm the sort of person who never remembers to presoak the beans, and they took 2 1/2 hours to cook before they could go in the stock, but that's neither here nor there. I used Parmesan stock in addition to turkey stock, because I had some on hand; but you don't have to. That being said, if you would like a vegetarian version of this dish, and I think it would be a very tasty vegetarian dish, you might want to make your own Parmesan stock. Start saving those rinds now and you might have enough by the time we have fresh veggies growing again!
Pasta e Ceci, Redux - serves 2-4
1/2 Kabocha squash (or butternut squash), halved and seeds scooped out
4 ounces large, flat pasta such as papperdelle - we used petolle, which I think are "postage stamps"; big squares, they have them at Weiland's (they are kind of expensive, but they are delightfully chewy in this soup)
3 cups turkey stock
1 cup Parmesan stock
1 cup chick peas, dried (they take 2.5 hours to cook if unsoaked, 1.5 if soaked - they really are better, but canned is fine), or 1 can chickpeas, drained with a pinch of bean water reserved
6 ounces leftover turkey or chicken, optional
1/4 cup sun dried tomates, chopped into very fine dice
salt & pepper
12 sage leaves, slivered
Steam the squash for about 8-10 minutes, or until it is soft, then set aside to cool slightly. When it has cooled, peel, cut into chunks, and place into bowls. Sprinkle with salt and half of the sage and set aside.
Boil the pasta according to package directions, but drain one minute early and set aside.
In a large sauce pan, simmer the turkey stock. Add the chickpeas and about 1-2 ounces bean juice or water in which beans were cooked. Add the sun dried tomates, the other half of the sage, and a good grating of pepper. I like to simmer for about 10 minutes while the pasta is cooking, just to get the flavors to mingle. Add the drained pasta and boil for a good minute. Taste for seasoning - you might need to add salt, depending on if your stock is salty or not. Ladle the soup over the squash in the bowls and pass with lots of parmesan cheese for grating and pepper. Great for those long rainy nights we have ahead of us!