Pasta e Ceci is very similar to Pasta Fagioli and one of my favourite Italian dishes to make. It is easy, saucy, comforting and absolutely delicious. “Ceci” simply means chickpeas in Italian. I hope I am able to transport you back in time and I hope you can remember all of your nostalgic memories growing up with this dish. Please let me know in the comments what you do differently as I know every region in Italy has a different spin on it. It can makes for the perfect lunch or dinner and can definitely be made kid-friendly if you leave out the chickpeas.
Pasta e Ceci aka Pasta with Chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 finely diced onion
- 5 cloves of minced or finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- chilli flakes are optional
- ¼ cup of white wine or veggie broth I used Riesling
- 1 litre plain tomato sauce 4 cups
- salt to taste
- 1-2 parmigiano cheese rinds are optional
- 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas or use a small can
- 2 cups of dry pastina I used Ditali but you can use baby shells or any small pasta you like — boiled in salted water to al-dente
- ¼ cup starchy pasta water
- 5-6 leaves of basil for garnish
- extra parm on top is optional
- In a big pan or a pot on the stove add the olive oil and sauté the onions on medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. If you wanted to add diced pancetta for extra flavour to the onions you are more than welcome to.
- Add the tomato paste and stir. Deglaze the pan with a little bit of wine or even broth and let it evaporate for about a minute. Add the tomato sauce, salt to taste, and nestle in the cheese rinds.
- Give it a stir and let it go on low heat for about 10 minutes. In the meantime boil any small pasta of choice in boiling salted water. Make sure you boil it to al dente so it’s not mushy and has a bite to it. After 10 minutes add the chickpeas to the tomato sauce and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Once the pasta is done you can strain it and reserve some pasta water on the side. Add the pasta into the sauce with a ladle of the pasta water and stir. Take it off the heat, garnish with basil, extra parm on top is optional and enjoy.
Not sure if I’m reading this right, but how much Ceci do you need? And when do you add them in? Recipe feels like it’s missing a step or am I not following it right?
I just fixed it 🙂 it’s all there now