Zuppa di Maltagliati, Calamari e Ceci Neri – Soup with Calamari (Squids), Black Chickpeas and “Maltagliati” Pasta


I’ll be short: I tried this recipe recently and I think it’s already between my favorites! I bought not long ago a package of black chickpeas, I new they were different than the regular ones but I wouldn’t expect such a different taste, and with calamari they fit really well.

Black chickpeas? Yes, I know it might sound new to many of you, and probably also to many northern Italians, but in southern Italy (especially Puglia and Basilicata regions, but especially the so called Murgia Carsica) it’s a traditional ingredient and they use it in some very interesting recipes. They are smaller than the usual chickpeas, and they have a more intense aroma and flavor, and they are rich in iron.

Actually it’s an ingredient that risked to be lost, but recently it has been revalued and now it’s again an ingredient being used in the traditional local cuisine. It was substituted with more profitable crops, and probably the fact that it needs at least 18-20 hours of soaking didn’t play a favorable role with the modern lifestyle of many people, I don’t know, but it would have been really a pity to lose this amazing legume.

But luckily we still have it, so let’s not think about it 🙂

Of course, you can make this recipe also with normal chickpeas, but it will be different.

You can also use other types of pasta.

Let’s see the recipe!


INGREDIENTS (4 people):

  • 200 g black chickpeas
  • 500 g calamari/squids
  • 120-150 g maltagliati (homemade pasta, made with 90-100 g flour and 1 egg)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 celery rib
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • fresh rosemary
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chili/red hot pepper
  • salt


  1. First you have to soak the black chickpeas in abundant cold water, at least 18-20 hours long.
  2. Then drain the chickpeas, take a high pot and heat them with enough water, let’s say about 2 fingers over the chickpeas. Add also a rosemary sprig, the bay leaf and a clove of garlic. When the water reaches the boil, cover the pot and set the heat at the minimum, they will need at least one hour and half. After the first hour add some little salt (you will control better at the end). Remove the foam at the beginning.
  3. Meanwhile take a pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil and add the onion and the celery cut into small pieces, add also another rosemary sprig and the chili. When they are soft (about 10 minutes at low heat) remove the rosemary sprig and add them with the oil to the pot with the black chickpeas.
  4. Meanwhile prepare also the dough for the pasta. Sift the flour, add the egg, and work it some minutes until homogeneous and strong, let it rest covered with a plastic wrap at least half an hour, and then flatten it (not too thin) and cut the maltagliati 🙂 the name means “badly cut“, so just cut it with a knife in irregular shape, square or triangle or rhomboidal shape.black_chickpeas_calamari_2
  5. When the chickpeas are cooked remove the rosemary sprig, the bay leaf and the garlic, season with salt and black pepper, then take about 1/3 of them and reduce into a cream with an immersion blender, then put the cream back into the pot and stir well.
  6. Now cut the calamari into rings of about 1 cm large (you can use also the heads if you want, but I kept them to fry another time with other calamari 🙂 ), take a pan (the same you used for the onion and celery before is fine), heat some extra virgin olive oil with a clove of garlic. When the garlic gets some color remove it and then add the calamari. After a couple of minutes set the heat higher and add the white wine, keep cooking them until the wine has reduced. Cook them for about 6-7 minutes, then add them into the chickpeas pot.black_chickpeas_calamari_4
  7. Cook for 3-4 minutes at medium heat, and then add the homemade pasta (if needed add also some hot water, but you don’t need much liquid, it has to be enough to cover the pasta, and remember: it’s a thick soup). Wait other 3-4 minutes and it will be ready (try the pasta), meanwhile keep stirring, so the pasta will not attach on the bottom.black_chickpeas_calamari_3
  8. Add some freshly chopped parsley, serve it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and enjoy 🙂 this dish has so much flavor!





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