I called on Jacques. He answered as if he were on his way out the door.
"Heat the oil in a saucepan over !HIGH HEAT! and add the onion and scallions. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes to soften the vegetables, then add the remaining ingredients, !EXCEPT! the parsley."
"But, !WAIT!..."I said.
Jacques Pépin Fast Food My Way. Chickpea ragout, pg 95.
A recipe for those in need of comfort and nourishment. Something that will sustain and drift you along merrily for the remainder of the day. But you don't need a recipe, just the basics. What was used. Give or take. Judgement is yours regarding time.
So I began, as will you if you're so inclined.
We do not spare olive oil, the extra virgin hemorrhaged from the bottle into the cold pan.
I added two cloves of chopped garlic, three scallions sliced on the bias, half a yellow onion diced. As the heat rose gently...as I stirred, the onions wept and the garlic huddled in cool corners.
I added one half cup chicken stock. It came to a gentle boil.
I added the chickpeas, about 16 ounces.
I added one can of San Marzano, milled using the largest setting so that the tomato ran chunky, not smooth.
At this point it was just a matter of reducing and seasoning with just the right amounts of salt and pepper.
It didn't take long.
As the ragout settled at the back of the stove, I sliced some baguette to be toasted.
While the baguette was toasting I fried an egg in a shallow pool of extra virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper...merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily...
This is where it got lovely...I plated the ragout which was then seen mingling with the nicest dollop of mascarpone. I then tipped the fried egg onto the plate were it snuggled against the chickpeas. The toasted baguette huddled along the fringes. A pinch of flat-leaf parsley flecked its way across the plate.
Of course I took pictures, but then I gobbled. I really did. I wished all the while that Roberto was enjoying a plate as well, but when I looked at the time I knew he was stuck in a meeting and then a sense of dread came over me. What if he doesn't get lunch today?
So, I had a brownie and that made me feel a little bit better.