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Pasta e Ceci (Chickpea Pasta)

I’m sick of winter. I hate cold weather. Nothing is worse than when the weather is horrid outside and you don’t want to leave your house, but you still have to make dinner. Ugh! This Italian recipe is great for a cold winter day.

It’s really more like a chickpea and pasta stew. It’s thick and hearty and stick-to-your-ribs warming. The nice thing about it is that most of the items you need are already in your cupboard.

Chickpeas are great to have on hand and are super versatile. If you don’t have Ditalini pasta on hand, you can also use other types of small pasta, shells, orzo or even macaroni, just adjust the cooking time so that your pasta is fully cooked.

[ELIN’s TIP: I keep diced pancetta in my freezer. It can be defrosted in a hurry and it’s great for last minute meals!]

This student-friendly recipe is super-easy to make, and only takes a little bit of chopping. The leftovers are even better the next day and can be frozen.

Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 40 minutes; Serves: 4 – 6 people

What you need:

  • 200 g diced pancetta (further chop to finely mince)
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • two 425 g (15 oz) cans chickpeas (do not drain)
  • 400 ml can crushed tomatoes (or 1/2 can 796 ml crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 cups chicken (vegetable) stock or water
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Ditalini pasta
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh grated a Parmigiano-Reggiano (garnish)
  • My Go-To Spice Mix (to taste)

What you do:

  • In a large dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil
Over medium heat, heat olive oil
  • Add the finely diced pancetta, onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook stirring frequently, until mix is soft and pancetta is cooked about 10 minutes.
Finely chopped carrots, onion, pancetta and celery
Stir frequently until pancetta is cooked and vegetables are soft
  • Add red pepper flakes and rosemary and cook 1 minute.
Add the red pepper flakes and rosemary, cook another minute
  • Add chickpeas and the liquid in the can, cook about 3 minutes
Add canned chickpeas and the liquid from the cans
  • Add crushed tomatoes
Add the crushed tomatoes
  • Add stock and 1 tsp of salt
Add stock, salt and stir

  • Bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes
  • Add pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until cooked, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add pasta

  • Stir in lemon juice and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add lemon juice and parsley


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