‘Ognissanti’ (All Saints) is celebrated in Italy after Halloween on the 1st of November.
On the 2nd of November, the day is dedicated to the dead. Families and friends gather to pray for and remember family and friends who have passed away.
‘ I morti’ (Day of the dead)
People visit the cemeteries days before the holiday to clean the abandoned tombs. Each tombstone is adorned with colorful chrysanthemums, and at night the red candles illuminate the cemetery.
Chrysanthemums are associated with death. So, if you bought a bouquet of mums for your Italian mother-in-law, it would be a bad omen. When I landed in Italy to meet my future mother-in-law I picked up a bouquet of pretty mums at the airport, how was I supposed to know? Great way to start with the wrong foot. Just kidding, I got along very well with her. May her soul rest in peace.
Here is a healthy recipe that we prepare in Northern Italy for the occasion.
Chick Pea Soup – Zuppa di Ceci
300 gr of canned precooked chickpeas (if you buy dry chickpeas soak them in water overnight)
3 diced potatoes
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves chopped
1 large onion
3 sausages with low-fat content, cut each to bite size. If they’re fatty, boil them first and discard the greasy water then add to the deep saucepan/Dutch oven.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
Salt to taste.
Chop onion and brown in a deep saucepan/Dutch oven with olive oil, add rosemary leaves, precooked chickpeas, and flour. Mix so the flour doesn’t stick to the saucepan. Add salt, potatoes, sausage and enough water to cover the chickpeas. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes and simmer for 15 minutes ‘til onion and potatoes are tender. Add water if needed.
Before serving take out ½ cup of chickpeas and blend until creamy, then return sausage and cream to soup add freshly ground pepper.
If you’re using dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight, add more water. Add diced potatoes after 25 minutes. Follow the same process as above.
Cooking time for soaked chickpeas, simmer for 40 minutes. Mix often adding water if needed. Once the chickpeas are tender, blend as above.
You can add a few leaves of chard along with the potatoes. Enjoy!
Click the link below to download the recipe.