Pasta e ceci, or pasta with chickpeas, is a one-pot dish that combines carrots, onion, celery, and garlic with chickpeas and small pasta that’s cooked in a tomato broth.  This simple Roman dish can be ready in less than an hour and is perfect for busy weeknights!

Overhead shot of black bowl with pasta e ceci and piece of bread.

Editor’s Note: Originally published on 4/2/2019.  Updated with full process shots and expanded info.

Pasta e ceci is a go-to in our home.

It’s easy to make, can be ready in under an hour, and for the most part, includes ingredients that are pantry or refrigerator staples.

Similar to pasta e fagioli, pasta e ceci is budget-friendly because the combination of pasta and beans is filling and satisfying.

It’s also meatless making it great to enjoy on Fridays during Lent.

We usually serve pasta e ceci with a green salad, some crusty bread, and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.  

Ingredients shown: vegetable stock, small pasta, parmesan rind, hot red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, garlic, carrot, celery, chickpeas, onion, and rosemary.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Dice 2 celery ribs, 2 medium carrots, and 1 medium onion.  Mince 5 cloves of garlic and drain 3 16-ounce cans of chickpeas.  Note:  Don’t rinse the chickpeas, just drain them of the liquid. Heat a large heavy pot to medium-low and saute the onions, celery, and carrots in a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil for ~12 minutes, or until very soft.  
  2. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 1-2 minutes.

Pasta e ceci recipe process shot collage group number one.

  1. Add a 1/4 teaspoon (or more if you like it spicy) of crushed red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  2. Add 1 cup of crushed canned plum tomatoes and a Parmigiano Reggiano rind.
  3. Add the chickpeas along with 1 sprig of rosemary and 4 cups of low-sodium vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat to medium and begin to crush some of the chickpeas either by mashing with a spoon against the side of the pot, or with an immersion blender.  

Recipe process shot collage group number two.

  1. Add a 1/2 pound of small-shaped pasta and cook in the broth until al dente.  Watch the pot and stir frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking.  
  2. The pasta will absorb much of the liquid so add more water or stock as needed.  Once it has reached your desired consistency, turn off the heat and taste test.  Adjust salt, pepper, and hot red pepper to taste and serve in bowls with crusty bread, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and grated cheese.  Enjoy!

Wooden ladle holding pasta e ceci over Dutch oven.

Top tips for perfect pasta and chickpeas

  • Pasta shape. Pasta e ceci is best with small-shaped pasta.  We used small penne for this recipe but any small pasta will work.  Tubetti, small shells, elbows, small bowties, would all be perfect!
  • Consistency. The thickness of pasta e ceci is very much a personal choice.  We prefer ours on the thicker side so we used an immersion blender to blend some of the chickpeas.  If you prefer yours soupier, skip the blender or increase the amount of water or broth.
  • Leftovers.  If you’re planning to have leftovers, you may wish to cook the pasta separately so it maintains its texture and doesn’t become too mushy.  

Large black bowl with pasta e ceci and piece of bread.

More simple but satisfying recipes

If you’ve enjoyed this pasta e ceci recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and leave a review.

We strive to satisfy a number of learning styles. If you are someone who prefers to learn by watching, you can find most of our recipes on YouTube and our Facebook Page.

Pasta e Ceci

4.94 from 31 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Pasta e ceci is a comforting combination of tiny pasta, chickpeas, carrots, onions, celery, and garlic simmered in a tomato broth with rosemary. This simple dish can be ready in under an hour.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 16 ounce cans chickpeas drained, but don't rinse
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock to start but add more as needed
  • 1 cup canned plum tomatoes hand crushed
  • 1 Parmigiano rind
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 1/2 pound small shell pasta or ditalini, elbows, etc
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Heat a large heavy pot to medium-low with the extra virgin olive oil and saute the onions, celery, and carrots until very soft (about 12 minutes). Once soft, add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more or until just golden. Finally, add the hot red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, Parmigiano rind, rosemary, and stock, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to medium and crush some of the chickpeas by smashing them against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. For a creamier consistency use an immersion blender.
  • Add in the pasta and cook until al dente. Keep an eye on the pot and stir very frequently to avoid sticking. The pasta will absorb much of the liquid so add more water or stock as needed. The final consistency is 100% a personal preference. If you like it soupier, add more stock or water.
  • Once the pasta has reached al dente turn off the heat and taste test. Adjust salt, pepper, and hot red pepper to taste.
  • When satisfied with the taste, serve in bowls with crusty bread. Offer grated cheese and drizzle your best extra virgin olive onto each bowl. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Small pasta like ditalini, small shells, and elbows are all great choices.  Even broken spaghetti works well.
  • If you plan to have leftovers, be sure to cook the pasta separately.  Otherwise, it's preferred to cook the pasta in the sauce to better absorb the flavors.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 70.8g | Protein: 17.9g | Fat: 21.5g | Saturated Fat: 2.8g | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 665mg | Fiber: 13.6g | Sugar: 9.9g | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!Check us out on Instagram at @sipandfeast or tag #sipandfeast!

This recipe was originally published on April 2, 2019. It was completely updated on February 24, 2023.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

65 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made your soup. Loved it except for the rosemary flavor. I’m not a fan of rosemary. Just personal preference.
    I definitely will make it again, but could I replace the rosemary with basil or parsley?

  2. 5 stars
    Love your work, I have fed family and friends using ur recipes many many times
    All the best to you and your family

    Lewis

  3. 5 stars
    Amazing! We loved this! Such a delicious pasta dish. Like Tara we like it with a little more heat . Will definitely be part of my repertoire! Thanks so much for sharing!