Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas) 3-4 servings 1/2 lb dried chickpeas (about 3 cups cooked) 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 carrots, finely chopped 2 ribs celery, finely chopped Salt, to taste 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons tomato paste Pinch of red chili flakes (optional) 1 large sprig rosemary, finely chopped Parmesan rind (if you have one) Black pepper, to taste 6 ounces ditalini, orecchiette, or elbow shaped pasta 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)

It’s taking everything in my power to not go on a rant about this weather. I know, it’s winter. I’m just a total wimp. I seriously have no idea how I survived living in Chicago for 2 years.

But let’s focus on the positive. Soon we’ll be onto salads to lighten up for spring and summer, but now we can enjoy warm, comforting meals like this. Pasta e Ceci (or pasta with chickpeas) is an Italian soup or stew made with – you guessed it – pasta and chickpeas. Think pasta e fagioli, but a little more delicate in flavor. Variations are endless, and Matt and I have been tweaking our own version over the past year or so.

Our version starts with dried chickpeas and a soffrito of finely diced carrot, celery, and onion. Truth be told, we sometimes make this in a hurry with canned chickpeas and vegetable stock…but for the sake of the blog, I’m going to show you the best!

(Plus, I have to work on my knife skills for my food science lab test.)

Sofrito

Fresh rosemary, garlic, tomato paste, and Parmesan rind flavor the base of both whole and pureed chickpeas. The Parmesan rind isn’t critical, but definitely throw one in if you have one. We go through way too much Parmesan so we seem to always have multiple rinds in the fridge.

Any small pasta shape works well for this. Ditalini is actually my favorite, but we had elbows already so that’s what I used. I like to keep it nice and thick, but you could certainly thin it out with chickpea cooking liquid and/or pasta water to make it more soup-like in consistency.

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)

Finish it off with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and dig in.

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)

Yield: 3-4 servings

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb dried chickpeas (about 3 cups cooked)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 large sprig rosemary, finely chopped
  • Parmesan rind (if you have one)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces ditalini, orecchiette, or elbow shaped pasta
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving

Instructions

  • Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Soak them overnight and drain.
  • Place the soaked beans in a large pot and cover with several inches of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 1-2 hours (the exact amount of time will depend on how long you soaked the beans), or until the beans are completely tender but not mushy. Drain the cooked chickpeas and reserve the cooking liquid.
  • Place about half of the cooked chickpeas (about 1.5 cups) in a blender with enough of the cooking liquid to cover. Blend until completely smooth and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery with a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables are soft, adjusting the heat if necessary, for about 20 minutes (it may take more or less time depending on the size of your cuts). Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chili flakes, and rosemary, stirring to incorporate into the vegetable mixture. Add both the whole chickpeas and the pureed chickpea mixture along with the Parmesan rind. Add additional chickpea cooking liquid until the texture looks like a chowder or a thick soup. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add some black pepper, to taste. At this point, taste again for salt and add more if necessary (keeping in mind that salty Parmesan will be added later). Simmer for about 30 minutes, adding additional chickpea liquid if it gets too thick.
  • While the mixture is simmering, cook the pasta until it is a little firmer than al dente and reserve the pasta water. Transfer the pasta to the chickpea mixture and add some pasta water until it looks like a very thick soup. Add the Parmesan and cook for a few minutes until the pasta is al dente. Serve with additional cheese.

Notes

If you are using canned chickpeas, substitute vegetable stock for the chickpea cooking liquid.

http://www.culinarycolleen.com/pasta-e-ceci-pasta-chickpeas/
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  • Emily Chilton

    this looks so good, and perfectly crave-able this winter!

  • http://megan-deliciousdishings.blogspot.com/ Megan

    Pasta e fagioli is one of my favorite comfort foods. If I liked chickpeas, I’m sure I would love this version too.

  • Michelle Lahey

    This sounds great – I just Pinned it so I remember to make it soon!

  • http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/ Joanne (eats well with others)

    I am so into this soup!! It’s definitely feel-good food.

  • http://www.thetriplecremeblog.com Tiffany @ Triple Crème Decaden

    Definitely loving the idea of this soup! I like how you added the parmesan rind-it imparts a deliciously cheesy, nutty flavor. :)



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