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Soak the chickpeas (and the beans if using them) overnight in lots of cold salted water. Trim the leaves from their stalks, wash and cook in a small amount of water in a covered saucepan until tender.
Rinse the anchovy fillet under running water, remove the bones and tail and chop finely.
Pour oil into a casserole dish and fry onion, garlic and anchovy. Pulp anchovy with a fork then pour in drained chickpeas and add silverbeet. Cover all ingredients with lukewarm water and add tomato pasta sauce. Simmer slowly, covered, for four hours, checking occasionally to ensure the chickpeas remain covered by a 2 cm layer of water.
Slice and toast the bread croutons in the oven (or fry in olive oil if you prefer). Place some croutons in a reasonably deep plate, then ladle on the chickpeas along with some broth.
Sprinkle generously with grated pecorino, salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.
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