Easy and Comforting Italian Pasta and Chickpea Soup
Cold winter days need all the quick comfort food! This delicious and satisfying Italian pasta and chickpeas, pasta e ceci, is just what the doctor ordered. This flavor-filled soup makes a cozy vegetarian lunch or dinner.
What is Pasta e Ceci?
Pasta e ceci (pasta and chickpeas) is one of Rome’s most iconic winter dishes. The hearty chickpeas and tender small pasta cook in a tomato rich broth, delivering a comforting Italian meal in under 30 minutes. It's almost a cross between a stew and a soup! It comes together in one pot! It's a cozy winter meal that can't be beat!
If you love this recipe you must try: Classic Italian Minestrone Soup
Why you will love this recipe
I hope you love this easy "ceci" chickpea and pasta meal. It is both comforting and nourishing. The best meals include simple and minimal ingredients. This is the beauty of Italian cooking!
It is a simple peasant recipe and a staple of households in the center of Italian any Italian home. From my cucina (kitchen) to your table I hope this recipe brings you and your family warmth all winter long!
How to pronounce "ceci" (chickpeas) in Italian
A little Italian lesson here: "ce" is pronounced as in the first three letters of "checkers" and "ci" as in "ciao." Share with friends and family as you eat this dish and bring a little taste and culture of Italy to your table!
It goes without saying that with any dish as simple as this one, the quality of your ingredients goes a long way! I recommend quality chickpeas, crushed tomatoes, and olive oil for this recipe!
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Crushed tomatoes
- Bay leaf
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Short pasta of choice
- Parmigiano cheese for serving
- Basil leaves and parsley for garnish
Canned chickpeas perform surprisingly well in this application and save hours of cooking time. You can achieve a similar substantial, creamy base (even without the starchy cooking liquid) by blending a small portion of the beans with some broth in the beginning of the one-pot meal. Ultimately, you should feel free to use whatever you have on-hand.
A wide, flat pasta shape, or a thick small pasta variety is absolutely key to this dish. A thin pasta or anything like spaghetti will make this dish a gummy mess since the pasta cooks in the broth. This dish is rustic, hearty, inexpensive and good for a cold fall evening. Names of pasta options for pasta e ceci recipe:
- Small Shells
I like using small shells since the chickpeas are about the same size and it looks nice together.
Try adding a little meat for extra flavor.
- Bacon: Even better, pancetta or finely chopped Parma ham can give a nice smoky and meaty flavor to your final result.
- Ground Sausage: Try frying up some Italian style ground sausage and adding it on top of the stew for an extra hearty meal.
- Pureeing a portion of the chickpeas into the sauce base gives the dish body and creaminess.
- While this is not traditionally a tomato-heavy pasta, adding some tomato paste in with the aromatics gives the dish savory depth, as well as a touch of color.
- A little acidity in the form the tomatoes goes a long way to brighten up and balance this hearty stew.
- If there’s not enough broth, the pasta will absorb it, resulting in a dry sauce. Keep a cup of hot stock aside in case you need to loosen up the chickpea soup.
Make-Ahead and Storage
This dish is best enjoyed immediately. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of stock or water to loosen the sauce.
Made with Amore, Elena
From my cucina to your table. Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)
More delicious recipes for your table...
This Roman brothy stew and a saucy tomato pasta dish, Pasta e Ceci (pasta and chickpeas) is Italian comfort food at its finest. Enjoy!Print
I hope you love this easy "ceci" chickpea and pasta meal. It is both comforting and nourishing. The best meals include simple and minimal ingredients. This is the beauty of Italian cooking! It is a simple peasant recipe and a staple of households in the center of Italian any Italian home. From my cucina (kitchen) to your table I hope this recipe brings you and your family warmth all winter long!
- 14 ounce can of cooked chickpeas, separated
- ½ cut of baby carrots, diced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 whole garlic clove
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 14 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 7 ounces (200 grams) of short pasta
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh grated parmigiano cheese
- Fresh basil leaves and parsley, garnish (optional)
- Divide the amount of chickpeas in half. Puree half with a food processor or blender. Leave the other half whole. Set aside for later use.
- In a medium saucepan, on medium heat add olive oil. Then, add smashed garlic clove. Cook until garlic begins to get fragrant and soften, but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaf, and pureed chickpeas and let cook, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Let it come to a slight simmer on medium heat, about 10-12 minutes. You want the liquid to be very hot before adding the pasta.
- Add the whole chickpeas and uncooked pasta and stew an additional 10 minutes or low medium heat. Stir occasionally to release the starches of the pasta. The pasta should be al dente and the broth should be creamy and thick.
- Ladle into shallow bowls, pour your very best extra virgin olive oil. Add freshly grated parmigiano cheese and garnish with basil leaves and parsley (if desired). Serve this pasta dish with a spoon. Mangia!
Keywords: pasta, soup, ceci, chickpeas. easy meal, Italian recipe, pasta and ceci, pasta recipe