A close-up of a bowl filled with Pasta e Ceci, an Italian chickpea and pasta stew, garnished with fresh herbs and sliced red chili peppers.

Delicious Pasta e Ceci Recipe – Italian Chickpea and Pasta Stew

Pasta e Ceci, or Italian Chickpea and Pasta Stew, is the epitome of Italian comfort food. Picture this: a cozy kitchen in Italy, filled with the fragrant aroma of simmering chickpeas and fresh herbs. This dish, a star in the Italian movie “I Soliti Sospetti,” is a delightful blend of simplicity and rich flavors. Perfect for a family dinner or a casual gathering, Pasta e Ceci is sure to warm your heart and soul.

The Best Pasta e Ceci Recipe

Pasta e Ceci, a classic Italian dish, combines the earthiness of chickpeas with the hearty texture of pasta. This recipe uses fresh vegetables and herbs to create a stew that’s both nutritious and satisfying. Whether you’re new to Italian cuisine or a seasoned cook, this dish will quickly become a favorite in your recipe collection.

Notes on Ingredients

  • Chickpeas: Dry chickpeas are preferred for their texture and flavor, but canned chickpeas can be used if short on time.
  • Vegetables: Grating the onion, celery, zucchini, and carrot is crucial for achieving the unique flavor profile of this dish.
  • Herbs: Fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme add depth to the stew. If fresh herbs are unavailable, dried ones can be substituted, though the flavor will be slightly different.
  • Pasta: Ditalini pasta is traditional, but any small pasta will work. Gluten-free options are also available.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Adds a kick to the stew, but can be adjusted to taste.

How to Make Pasta e Ceci

  1. Prep Chickpeas: Rinse and soak dry chickpeas with baking soda overnight. Rinse again the next day.
  2. Grate Vegetables: Grate onion, celery, zucchini, and carrot using a cheese grater.
  3. Sauté Vegetables: Heat olive oil in a stew pot, add grated vegetables, and sauté for 1 minute. Add sage, rosemary, and thyme, and continue to sauté until onions are soft and translucent.
  4. Cook Stew: Add chicken broth, chickpeas, and tomatoes to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 1 hour.
  5. Add Pasta: Stir in pasta and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Adjust broth as needed for a thick, stew-like consistency.
  6. Season and Serve: Season with salt and black pepper. Serve hot, topped with minced cayenne pepper and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

How to Serve Pasta e Ceci

Pasta e Ceci is best served hot in deep bowls to keep the stew warm and cozy. Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a few extra fresh herbs for added flavor. Pair with crusty bread to soak up the delicious broth, and a light green salad for a balanced meal.

How to Store Pasta e Ceci

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of broth or water to loosen the stew. Freezing is also an option; freeze in individual portions for easy reheating.

Nutrition information

Amount per serving% Daily Value*
Calories404.37 kcal (20%)
Total Fat10.52 g (15%)
Carbs64.78 g (25%)
Sugars13.16 g (15%)
Protein15.63 g (31%)
Sodium1246.81 mg (62%)
Fiber8.93 g (32%)
Saturated Fat1.41 g (7%)
Trans Fat0 g
Monounsaturated Fat5.82 g
Polyunsaturated Fat2.09 g
Cholesterol2.4 mg (1%)
Calcium92.82 mg (12%)
Magnesium84.31 mg (22%)
Potassium888.51 mg (25%)
Iron4.88 mg (35%)
Zinc2.08 mg (21%)
Phosphorus227.82 mg (33%)
Vitamin A575.15 mcg (72%)
Vitamin C22.55 mg (28%)
Thiamin (B1)0.66 mg (60%)
Riboflavin (B2)0.41 mg (29%)
Niacin (B3)5.53 mg (35%)
Vitamin B60.5 mg (36%)
Folic Acid (B9)370.57 mcg (185%)
Vitamin B120.02 mcg (1%)
Vitamin D0 mcg
Vitamin E3.18 mg (26%)
Vitamin K20.26 mcg (27%)
Nutrition Information for Pasta e Ceci

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

FAQs About Pasta e Ceci

Can I use canned chickpeas instead of dry?

Yes, canned chickpeas can be used. Drain and rinse them before adding to the stew. The cooking time will be shorter.

What can I use if I don’t have ditalini pasta?

Any small pasta, such as elbow macaroni or small shells, can be substituted. You can also break spaghetti into small pieces.

Is this dish spicy?

The cayenne pepper adds a mild heat, but you can adjust the amount to your taste or omit it entirely if you prefer a milder flavor.

Can I make this dish vegetarian?

Absolutely! Substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth for a vegetarian version of Pasta e Ceci.

How do I make this gluten-free?

Use gluten-free pasta and ensure that all other ingredients are certified gluten-free.

A bowl of delicious Pasta e Ceci, a traditional Italian chickpea and pasta stew.

The Best Pasta e Ceci Recipe

Discover the authentic taste of Italian comfort food with our Pasta e Ceci recipe. A hearty chickpea and pasta stew that's perfect for any occasion.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Soak Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 45 minutes
Course Soup Bowl
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 404.37 kcal


  • 1 cup dry chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh sage leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 3 cups chicken broth or more as needed
  • 2 peeled whole canned tomatoes
  • 8 1/2 ounces ditalini pasta such as Barilla® Gluten Free Ditalini
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 fresh cayenne pepper seeded and minced, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  • Rinse chickpeas under cool water. Pick up handfuls of chickpeas and rub them together with your hands under the water to wash chickpeas. Place chickpeas in a large stew pot, cover with water and add baking soda; swirl chickpeas and water to distribute baking soda. Leave to soak for 8 hours or overnight.
  • The next day, pour chickpeas through a strainer and rinse well under cold running water, eliminating any skins or discolored chickpeas; set aside.
  • Grate onion, celery, zucchini, and carrot on the large teeth of a cheese grater, This step is very important as grated vegetables give a different flavor than diced.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the stew pot over medium heat, and sauté grated vegetables for 1 minute. Mix in sage, rosemary, and thyme and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups broth, all the chickpeas, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in pasta. Add more broth only as needed to achieve a thick, stew-like consistency.
  • Cook until pasta is tender with a bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and divide amongst serving bowls. Top each bowl with minced cayenne pepper and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Keyword Chickpeas, comfort food,, hearty stew, Pasta, Pasta e Ceci
Pasta e Ceci Italian Chickpea and Pasta Stew

Enjoy the comforting and hearty flavors of Pasta e Ceci, a true Italian classic that brings warmth and joy to any meal!

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