Cold winter days need all the comfort food! This simple, homely, deliciously and satisfying Italian dish, pasta e ceci, is just what the doctor ordered.

Pasta e Ceci is hearty chickpeas and tender small pasta cook in a tomato rich broth, delivering a comforting Italian meal in under 30 minutes. It comes together in one pot! It’s a cozy winter meal that can’t be beat!

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!

two bowls of pasta e ceci soup with bread on the side

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!

Simple Ingredients for pasta e ceci

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!

  • Chickpeas
  • Carrots
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Rosemary
  • Bay leaf
  • Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Short pasta of choice
  • Parmigiano cheese for serving
  • Basil leaves and parsley for garnish
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Can I use canned chickpeas for this recipe

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.

What is the best pasta for this pasta e ceci recipe?

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:

  • Ditalini
  • Small Shells

I like using small shells since the chickpeas are about the same size and it looks nice together.

two bowls of pasta e ceci soup with bread on the side

The magic in this Pasta e Ceci recipe

  • 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.

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!)

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of pasta e ceci chickpea soup with bread on the side

Simple and Comforting Pasta e Ceci (Pasta and chickpeas)

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

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! 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 14 ounce can of cooked chickpeas, separated
  • 1/2 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)

Instructions

  1.  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. 
  2. 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. 
  3.  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. 
  4.  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