Bursting with juicy tomatoes, hearty chickpeas and tender pasta in a light broth, this easy pasta e ceci is the cozy weeknight meal you've been looking for. The best part: it all cooks up in one pot in about 45 minutes!
This time of year I like to pretend that it's soup and stew season. It's kind of a ridiculous game I play with myself. I mean, the weather is still, for the most part, pretty warm. Leaves are on the trees and I've still got flowers blooming in the garden.
But guys, I'm beyond excited for the cooler weather that's to come, and frankly, I'm sick of having salad for lunch. Easy, healthy soups and stews are where it's at!
And this pasta e ceci is perfect for lunch (or dinner!) during those early fall (or late summer, which it technically still is) days. It's healthy, comforting, and full of flavor!
What is Pasta e Ceci?
"Pasta e ceci" translates to pasta pasta and chickpeas, and that's just what it is! The pasta and chickpeas are served in a light seasoned tomato broth, but not too much of it — so this dish isn't quite a soup, but also not quite a stew, but you wouldn't really call it a regular old pasta dish with sauce — it's somewhere in between!
If you're a fan of pasta e fagioli, you'll enjoy this. It's similar, but instead of beans (the "fagioli), this one is made with chickpeas ("ceci").
A One-Pot Meal
Back when I made my vegan minestrone I went off a bit about not cooking pasta in soup broth, because soggy pasta is one of my least favorite things.
This time around I decided to throw caution to the wind (and be a little lazy) and make a one-pot meal of my pasta e ceci. Well guess what? It turned out great! I loved my pasta cooked right in the broth for this dish. I'm a changed woman.
How to Make Pasta e Ceci
Did I say this was easy? It really is!
Heat up some olive oil in a pot and add some onion, carrots and celery. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes to begin softening them up. Next, add some garlic and cook everything for about a minute more.
Add some broth, diced tomatoes, fresh rosemary, and chickpeas. Let it all simmer for about 15 minutes.
The pasta goes in last. Use a small variety, such as ditalini. Stir it in and let it simmer until it's tender.
I like to serve my pasta e ceci with some homemade vegan Parmesan cheese.
FAQ & Pasta e Ceci Tips
- Store any leftover pasta e ceci in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- How do the leftovers keep? The pasta will suck up a lot of broth as it sits, so it really depends on how you feel about that kind of thing. You can add some extra broth while reheating, but the pasta itself will still be extra soft.
- Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Just use your favorite gluten-free pasta!
- Can I use dried chickpeas to make this dish? Yes, but you'll need to precook them first (canned chickpeas are already cooked). You can find instructions on how to do that here. You'll need to substitute about 2 scant cups of cooked chickpeas for the canned chickpeas in this recipe.
Pasta e Ceci
Bursting with juicy tomatoes, hearty chickpeas and tender pasta in a light broth, this easy pasta e ceci is the the cozy weeknight meal you've been looking for. The best part: it all cooks up in one pot in about 45 minutes!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 medium celery stalk, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 cup dried ditalini pasta (or another type of small pasta)
- Salt and pepper, to tastes
Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat.
Give the oil a minute to heat up, and then add the onion, carrot, and celery. Sweat the veggies for about 10 minutes, until they begin to soften up.
Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
Stir in the broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, and rosemary.
Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the pasta and bring the liquid back up to a boil.
Allow the pasta to cook in the soup at a low boil until al dente — this may take a minute or two longer than the time indicated on the pasta's package directions. Stir the pot occasionally while it simmers.
Remove the pot from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and serve.