Pasta and Chickpeas (Pasta e Ceci)

Close-up photo of a greyish bowl filled with pasta, chickpea, and tomato soup with arugula on top.

Close-up photo of a greyish bowl filled with pasta, chickpea, and tomato soup with arugula on top.

During a recipe testing and dinner one night, my son decided his tomato soup was boring and starting adding cooked pasta I had made for a different recipe. We ended up talking about spaghetti-os (something I didn’t eat as a kid but knew about).

All of this led me down the rabbit hole of making something my son that resembled his soup/noodles and spaghetti-o’s. Which is when I landed on this brothy pasta and chickpeas from Bon Appetit. But, as I read through comments, I quickly went down the rabbit hole of researching recipes.

This version of pasta and chickpeas is riffed from Smitten Kitchen. I changed up the aromatics a bit and added tomato sauce to make the sauce feel a bit more soup-like.

Greens

Obviously, this recipe is a classic, and there aren’t greens in it. But I can’t help myself. I love the arugula because it lightens the tomato base up a bit. However, I think cooked kale or collards would be wonderful cooked into the dish.

Vegan-it

I also couldn’t help myself when it came to adding parmesan, but you could easily leave it out. If you want some of the salty goodness, stir in a bit of miso or nutritional yeast.

Finish strong

Finally, don’t skip the finishing oil. The rosemary is everything to this recipe. If you’re avoiding heat- just leave the chili flakes out. If you don’t want to make the oil, stir a bit of rosemary into the dish instead.

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Pasta and Chickpeas (Pasta e Ceci)


Scale

Ingredients

Pasta

1 large shallot

½ rib celery

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons olive oil (see note)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup tomato sauce

1 cup cooked chickpeas (drained + rinsed if using canned)

¾ cup small pasta

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups water

½ cup grated parmesan

Infused Oil

1 tablespoon minced rosemary

1 clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon chili flakes (see note)

⅓ cup olive or neutral oil


Instructions

  • Finely mince the shallots, celery, and garlic together. I like to chop but you could easily pulse in a blender. Heat a pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil followed by the shallot mix. Cook until the mix has softened and beginning to turn golden. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute or so. 
  • Next, add in the tomato sauce, chickpeas, pasta, and salt. Stir together then add in the water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the sauce has thickened and the pasta is cooked through; about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • While the pasta is cooking, make the oil. Place the garlic, chili flakes, and rosemary in a heat-safe bowl that’s large enough to hold the hot oil too. Place the oil in a pan and heat over medium heat until the oil is hot (should appear to shimmer). Carefully pour the oil over the rosemary mix and let cool.
  • Once the pasta is done, stir in the parmesan. Taste and add more parmesan and/or salt as desired. Divide into two bowls and top with a small drizzle of oil and extra parmesan as desired.

Notes

Notes

  • Olive oil: I use a lot of oil in this recipe because I feel like the fat from the oil round everything out well. If it’s not your thing, cut back to about 2 teaspoons to cook the pasta
  • Infused Oil: This makes more than you will need but rest assured, you’ll want to eat this on salads, other pastas, and eggs. Also, if you’re not into heat, just leave the chili flakes out.
  • Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Keywords: pasta e ceci, pasta and chickpeas

Yellowish marble background with a grey bowl filled with tomato, pasta, and chickpeas.

Yellowish marble background with a grey bowl filled with tomato, pasta, and chickpeas.

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