Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas)



  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 dried chile de árbol or 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1⁄2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • About 1 cup San Marzano tomatoes (about 4 tomatoes), crushed using your hands
  • Salt and coarse-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 7 ounces dried short-cut pasta, such as tubetti or garganelli
  • Grated Parmesan, for garnish


  1. Placethechickpeasina6-quartsaucepanandcoverwithwaterby1inch. Add the bay leaf, garlic, rosemary sprig, and chile and bring to a simmer, covered, adding 1⁄2 cup water as needed if dry, until the chickpeas are soft and creamy, 11⁄2 to 2 hours. Season with salt. Remove and discard the bay leaf and rosemary.
  2. In another saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, then season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have thickened slightly, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add a ladle full of the chickpea mixture (with the clove of garlic) and puree in a blender until smooth. Add the chickpea puree and the tomatoes back into the saucepan with the rest of the chickpeas and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently to keep from sticking, until the pasta is al dente and the sauce has thickened, 12 to 15 minutes, depending on which pasta you choose. Season with salt and coarse black pepper. The dish should be creamy and more soup-like than typical pasta with sauce.
  4. To serve, divide the pasta between 4 bowls and garnish with Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

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