Pasta e Ceci – Pasta and Chickpeas, Neapolitan Style


This recipe it’s very similar to the recipe I showed in the post “Pasta e Fasule“, just this time we use chickpeas and not beans 🙂

Like that recipe, also this one is traditional of Naples area.

It’s a creamy pasta, quite thick, but of course everyone can choose to have it more or less creamy/thick by adding more or less water.

I really like these kind of recipes with legumes, they are healthy and they have a lot of good nutrients.

As many other people do, I like to add a small piece of pancetta or lardo too, and also a Parmigiano Reggiano rind to enhance the final taste, but if you don’t use them then this recipe can be absolutely vegan/vegetarian 🙂

As I wrote in the other recipe, you can use the pasta you prefer, the best choice is probably some pasta IGP from Gragnano which is reach in starch and helps to reach that texture (also abroad is available in deli stores), it’s possible to find also packages with mixed short pasta, but you can also just break some long pasta by hands (linguine, mafalde for example) or just choose a short type, simply choose the pasta you prefer 🙂

Chickpeas take a lot of time to cook, of course you can try with pre-cooked chickpeas to make it faster 🙂 but I prefer to use the dried ones and to do it by myself.

Let’s see the recipe!

INGREDIENTS (4 generous portions):

  • 300 g of dried chickpeas (they will double their weight)
  • 280 g of mixed/short pasta
  • 1 onion
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil, 4-5 tablespoons
  • parsley
  • dried oregano, half tablespoon
  • 1 chili
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pancetta/bacon/lardo, a couple of slices just to add a little extra taste (optional)
  • 1-2 Parmigiano Reggiano rinds (optional)
  1. First of all you have to put the dried chickpeas in a bowl with abundant water, 12 hours at least. You can do it during the night. They will double their weight about (in this case from 300 g they became 598 g, so exactly the double).
  2. Then we have to boil the chickpeas: drain them from the water, take a pot, add cold water (2,5-3 liters about) and then heat it, with the chickpeas inside. From the moment it starts to boil set the heat on very low and let it simmer for about 2-2 and half hours, almost completely covered. In the first minutes there will be a foam coming on the surface, remove it with a skimmer/perforated spoon. When there is no more foam coming, add the onion and the celery ribs, just cut them in half. Season with the salt just in the last 15-20 minutes.
  3. Once the chickpeas are ready, take a cocotte/pot and heat the oil, then add the garlic (smash it with the flat side of the knife), the pancetta/bacon/lardo, the sliced chili and I also added the parsley stems. Meanwhile drain the chickpeas (but keep their water hot in that pot, we need it), and with an immersion blender make a cream with about 1/3 of them, I used about 200 g, maybe some more. You can blend together also the boiled onion if you want.
  4. When the garlic gets a golden color remove it, and remove also the parsley stems. Then add the chickpeas and some of their boiling water, 2 ladles about.
  5. After few minutes add also the chickpeas cream, mix it well, add also the Parmigiano Reggiano rind if you have it (that’s always a good tip, it adds a good flavor) and the dried oregano. Also some of the parsley.
  6. Let it simmer at low/medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often not to attach on the bottom. Keep adding the boiling water as it gets too thick
  7. After that time season with salt if needed, add also some freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Now control if there is enough liquid in the chickpeas to boil the pasta, otherwise add some more boiling water and add the pasta. Boil at medium heat and stir often, otherwise you risk to attach the pasta on the bottom. The liquid has to be exactly enough, not too much, when the pasta is ready you must be able to stand a spoon inside the pot (at least for some seconds, it must not be as thick as cement 😀 ), as you see below. If you see that while cooking it gets too thick then keep adding water, little by little.pasta_e_ceci_
  9. When the pasta is cooked cover the cocotte/pot and let it rest for few minutes before serving.
  10. Serve it with some fresh parsley, some more ground black pepper if you would like and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil 🙂 maybe it’s not the most beautiful dish, but it’s really tasty, trust me! 🙂

Do you know you can make an even tastier version with the mussels? Click HERE for the recipe 🙂

Moreover, the same recipe can be made with black chickpeas too:




Products used:

Pasta: mixed pasta from Pastificio Gentile


5 Comments Add yours

  1. KR says:

    Very interesting combination. We are mixing potatoes with everything. You are mixing pasta 🙂 anyway this is worth to try 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, in Italy you can find thousands of recipes with pasta 😀 with tens of different pasta types, cooked, in the oven, fresh or dry, filled 🙂 thank you for reading! 🙂


  2. Karen says:

    I haven’t cooked this pasta in a long time, it is one of my husband’s favorites. Like the tip about judging the proper thickness with the spoon…that is very useful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 it’s a fast and easy tip, then of course as I wrote someone like it thicker and someone else like it less thick 🙂


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