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pasta e ceci zuppa
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Pasta e Ceci

Pasta e Ceci recipe, a classic hearty 1-Pot Italian dish of pasta with chickpeas cooked together with aromatics in a white broth. This easy recipe has Sicilian roots with countless regional variations: alla Siciliana, Romana, Napolitana, Toscana and the very best rendition from yours truly of course!
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Keyword fregola recipes, pasta e ceci
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Soaking Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours 35 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 362kcal
Author Florentina

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups dry chickpeas
  • 1 cup fregula pasta (or your favorite small shape pasta)
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 cups baby kale escarole, spinach or 1 bunch Italian parsley
  • 7-8 cups water + more as desired
  • 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional + recommended)

Instructions

  • Soak the dry chickpeas in a large bowl of cold water overnight, or in the morning for evening cooking.
    1.5 cups dry chickpeas
  • Preheat a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat and sautee the onion with a pinch of salt in a drizzle of olive oil until translucent.
    1 yellow onion
    pasta e fregola in process shots
  • Stir in the fennel seeds, chili flakes, garlic and rosemary. Toss to coat well and cook just until the garlic fragrant taking care not to burn it.
    3 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp red chili flakes, 2 sprigs rosemary
  • Add the chopped fresh tomatoes and cook just until they start releasing their juices.
    2 cups fresh tomatoes
  • Add the chickpeas and the water and bring to a boil. Season with a good pinch of salt, cover with a lid and cook for one hour until the chickpeas have softened. Stir in the nutritional yeast if using and adjust seasonings with more salt if needed.
    1.5 cups dry chickpeas, 7-8 cups water, 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Remove about 5 ladles of the soup (making sure to get a little bit of everything) and transfer to a powerful blender. Puree until silky smooth and set aside.
  • Meanwhile add the fregula pasta (or whatever pasta shape you are using) to the simmering soup and stir well. Boil until al dente following the package directions and making sure to stir often to prevent sticking.
    1 cup fregula pasta
  • Once the pasta is cooked add the pureed soup back into the pot and mix well to combine.
  • Add the baby kale, parsley or whatever greens you are using and cook another minute or so until wilted. Discard the rosemary sprigs and serve with crusty bread, focaccia and a drizzle of olive oil.
    3 cups baby kale
    pasta and chickpeas

Notes

  • Should I soak the dry chickpeas? It is strongly recommended that you soak the chickpeas in cold water overnight; or in the morning if you plan to cook them for dinner. This will shorten the cooking time and yield the creamiest result.
  • Can i used canned chickpeas instead of dry? You sure can, but fresh is better. Make sure to adjust the water to maybe 4-5 cups or so if you are going that route.
  • Creaminess - By pureeing some of the cooked chickpeas with the broth and adding back into the stew you will achieve a divine creaminess factor that checks all the boxes.
  • The Greens - Dark leafy greens like baby kale, Cavalo nero, escarole, chard, dandelion greens or fresh Italian parsley are traditionally wilted straight into the soup at the very end. So take it whichever direction your taste buds desire.
  • Add ins - Pan seared Beyond Italian sausages (e salsiccia), grilled or pan fried zucchini, potatoes, steamed or roasted broccoli florets, lots of fresh herbs, toasted pine nuts etc.

Nutrition

Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 822mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1850IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 4mg