During these strange and uncertain times, we’re all in need of a pick-me-up. And what better than something to feed the body as well as the soul. In our current series, James Gingell from The Stinky Chef deli in Rawtenstall, Lancashire shares a selection of delicious recipes.

Gingell says: “As the Monty Python boys once said, ‘What did the Romans ever do for us?’ Well, here’s a recipe typical of the Romans and the surrounding regions. Chickpeas (Cicer Arietinum) get their Latin name from Aries (the ram) as the dried peas were said to be likened to a ram’s head complete with horns. Chickpeas are of Middle Eastern origin but were held in great regard by the Romans due to their special dietary properties. For this recipe, we’re all about crisp, warm and spicy – the chickpeas are sautéed in olive oil over a high heat providing a great pre-dinner appetiser or nibble with drinks.”

Ceci Fritti


Serves 4-6   

250g dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)

100ml extra virgin olive oil

8g rosemary (picked and chopped)

2 cloves garlic (finely sliced)

10g flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)

5g dried red chilli flakes

30g ground paprika

Juice of ½ lemon

Salt and pepper

Ceci FrittoMethod

Pre-soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water.  

The next day, cook the chickpeas in water for approximately one and a half hours or until tender. Drain and leave to cool on one side.

It’s probably best to cook them in two batches. So, take half of the cooked chickpeas and fry gently in 50ml of olive oil so they are crisp on the outside. Then, add one clove of garlic sliced into thin slivers, 4g chopped rosemary, 15g paprika and 3g dried red chilli flakes.

Stir and continue frying so the chickpeas are covered. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and 5g chopped flat leaf parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve straightaway hot (or later cold in a bowl). But these are best eaten hot with drinks.

Buon Appetito.