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Pasta with Chickpeas – Pasta e ceci, an Italian Classic

Pasta with Chickpeas –  Pasta e ceci, an Italian Classic

Whether you come from Lazio, Abruzzo, Campania or other regions, pasta with chickpeas is certainly part of your repertory. I can’t think of anything more widespread and common than this comfort food, a faithful companion of many households above all during autumn. There is something so charming in the simple yet powerful flavor of this dish, that reminds me moments of joy both with my family and my friends. At the same time, at the exact moment of starting writing this recipe, I realized there’s not one recipe and one fixed procedure. I can’t say that there is one way to make pasta e ceci, it all depends on your region, on your habits, on your preferences.  One thing only is certain : this recipe is a good source of energy and rich in proteins and fibers. Tasty and good for your health, will you be able to resist?

Speaking about all the variations, we can already start by the chickpeas. You have the choice between the dried ones and the canned ones. For sure using the canned ones will reduce the cooking time. In this case be sure you are using very high quality chickpeas, preferably preserved in a glass can. Remember to always wash them under current water as well! On the contrary, the dried chickpeas need to be soaked in water for at least 8 hours and then cooked for around another hour.  To cook them, cover them with cold water and add a clove of garlic (peeled), a sprig of rosemary and thyme  to add flavour. Let simmer over medium/low heat and add salt in the end.  In my case, this time I used the canned ones, so you’ll find the procedure in the method.

pasta with chickpeas

Let’s keep going with the different ways to make pasta with chikpeas… there are people, like my mother, who always add a spoon of tomato puree or some tomato paste. Fresh tomatoes are also an option, but the quantity is entirely up to you. Do you want to stain your pasta with a little red or you really can’t have pasta without tomato? Your choice. My choice is simply avoiding it, because I find the taste of pasta and ceci satisfying enough with making use of tomato, so you won’t find it in this particular recipe. Feel free to go ahead if you like it 🙂

Another question: do you like it more creamy, or more liquid, like a minestra? Normally I prefer it creamy, but I don’t smash a part of the chickpeas until they become a puree like somebody else does. If you fancy the idea, you might want to use an immersion blender and save the puree aside until pasta and chickpeas are almost ready, and just then adding it to give this creamy consistency. I personally don’t find it necessary – I use my vegetable stock to cook the pasta with the chickpeas and in the end the effect is a creamy and delicate one.

And tell me, which pasta shape do you like? For me, there’s just one choice. Ditali rigati – short, round tubes – are so perfect with their size to be captured with the spoon, together with the chickpeas. Alternatively, pipes – the hollow, curved shape that looks like a snail shell-  or conchiglie – shells – are also good.

pasta with chickpeas

Up until now, we are talking about a vegetarian dish, but you can enrich it, as I did, with some anchovies  – they do it especially in Rome – that I added at the beginning, with the oil, the garlic, the rosemary and the thyme. I remember a friend of mine liked to add sliced pancetta, and this is also a very tasty choice.

As you can see, the possibilites are really infinite, but everything depends on your taste and also on your mood of the day!

Here you will find my favorite version. It’s pretty basic and doesn’t imply too many ingredients, but all of them, especially the herbs and the oil are good quality and fresh. My pasta comes from Italy and it is a bronze die one. As usual, the goodness of ingredients is the key for the success of such an easy dish.

And now, let’s dive in!

Pasta with chickpeas recipe

Ingredients  (2 servings)

8,5 oz (240 gr.) chickpeas
7 oz (200 gr.) pasta
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1 garlic clove, peeled, smashed
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 anchovies in olive oil
around 23 fluid oz  (700 ml) vegetable stock

 

Method

Bring stock to a low simmer in a medium pot and let it simmer for the whole procedure.

In the meantime,  in a saucepan heat the olive oil with the clove of garlic, then add the anchovies, the rosemary and the thyme sprig. Cook over medium heat until the anchovies are melted in the oil.

At this point add some ladlefuls of stock and the chickpeas – that you have previously washed under current water – and let cook for some minutes(from 5 to 10 max). Add the rest of the stock, as the chickpeas need to be completely covered in water, and bring to a boil.

pasta with chickpeas

Now it’s time to add pasta. Ditali rigati usually cook in 10 minutes, but be sure to check indications on the package.

pasta with chickpeas

Add salt at your discretion. I use my own vegetable stock that I prepare myself, and it’s pretty salty,so I do not use extra salt. If you need to put some, do it just before adding the pasta.

pasta with chickpeas

When it’s ready, take off heat and let rest for around 5 minutes. Serve the pasta decorating it with a fresh rosemary spring and one last sprinkle of olive oil directly in the plate.

If you enjoyed this recipe, get more pasta madness with this pasta alla norma or this pesto alla siciliana!

And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, or meet me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

 

 

 

Pasta with Chickpeas

2017-09-28
: 2
: 10 min
: 30 min
: 40 min
: easy

The classic pasta with chickpeas, enriched with thyme rosemary and anchovies!

By:

Ingredients
  • 8,5 oz (240 gr.) chickpeas
  • 7 oz (200 gr.) pasta
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, smashed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5/ 6 anchoivesin olive oil
  • around 23 fluid oz (700 ml) vegetable stock
Directions
  • Step 1 Bring stock to a low simmer in a medium pot and let it simmer for the whole procedure
  • Step 2 a cold stock would prevent the rice from cooking properly.
  • Step 3 In the meantime,  in a saucepan heat the olive oil with the clove of garlic, then add the anchovies, the rosemary and the thyme sprig. Cook over medium heat until the anchovies are melted in the oil.
  • Step 4 At this point add some ladlefuls of stock and the chickpeas – that you have previously washed under current water – and let cook for some minutes.
  • Step 5 Add the rest of the stock, as the chickpeas need to be completely covered in water, and bring to a boil.
  • Step 6 Now it’s time to add pasta. Ditali rigati usually cook in 10 minutes, but be sure to check indications on the package.
  • Step 7 Add salt at your discretion. I use my own vegetable stock that I prepare myself, and it’s pretty salty,so I do not use extra salt. If you need to put some, do it just before adding the pasta and no more than 1 tbsp.
  • Step 8 When it’s ready, take off heat and let rest for around 5 minutes.
  • Step 9 Serve the pasta decorating with a fresh rosemary spring and one last sprinkle of olive oil directly in the plate.


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