This recipe for stewed chickpeas shouldn't require you to go to the grocery store with a list of produce to buy. Use what you have on hand to add flavor to this spread. This recipe is ever-changing, making it a completely customizable condiment.
Drain soaked chickpeas and place in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the chickpeas by 1—2 inches. Add 1 cup of the olive oil, bay leaf, sage, rosemary, prosciutto or bacon, carrot, celery, chile, garlic, and onion. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer the chickpeas very slowly, uncovered, until they are tender and creamy, about 3 hours. During the cooking process, keep adding more water to the pot as necessary so the chickpeas remain submerged in at least 1 inch of water. Keep salting throughout the cooking (up to a tablespoon, spread out over 3 hours), tasting as you go and being careful not to over-salt.
Remove the bacon, herbs, and vegetables, leaving only the chickpeas. Drain, reserving the liquid.Squeeze the cloves of garlic out of their skins and add to the chickpeas (discard the skins). Transfer the chickpeas, garlic, 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, and the remaining amount of olive oil into the bowl of a food processor or a blender fitted with a metal blade. Purée to a smooth, spoonable paste with some texture. Add reserved cooking water as necessary until desired consistency is reached. Taste for seasoning, and add more olive oil or salt as needed before serving.(Note: These chickpeas go well with Chef Silverton's fett'unta.)