Chickpea Lovers’ Pasta e Ceci
Oil Painting Version
Not in the mood to shop for dinner? Nor spend too much time in the kitchen? This ultimate pantry dish is tasty, healthy, and satisfying without a lot of prep. Pasta e Ceci is made from ingredients that are usually in the cupboard – dried pasta, canned chickpeas, canned tomato. And if you have a rosemary bush in the garden, even the fresh herb is handy.
This is the “chickpea lovers” version – not only does it include whole ceci (chickpeas) plus blended ceci in the broth – the pasta from my friends at Explore Cuisine is made from chickpea flour loaded with protein and fiber. And it’s naturally lower-carb and gluten-free too.
Pasta e Ceci Recipe
2 T. olive oil plus more for drizzle (my favorite California Olive Ranch)
1 large shallot, small dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t. red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 t. rosemary, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
1 can whole peeled tomatoes, including juice
1 can chickpeas – rinsed and drained
1 box Explore Cuisine organic chickpea fusilli, cooked slightly shy of al dente
salt to taste
Heat olive oil in a medium soup pot. Add shallot and cook until translucent. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and rosemary then cook for one additional minute.
Add tomato. I like whole peeled San Marzano from Italy. I use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes. Depending on how tomato-y you like your pasta e ceci, you can hold back a few tomatoes for another use.
Add half of the chickpeas and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend tomato mixture with immersion blender to a rustic smooth consistency. Add the remaining chickpeas and chickpea fusilli. Add just enough water to get a semi-brothy texture – not too thick, not too soupy. Season with salt to taste and simmer 5 more minutes so flavors meld and everything is heated through.
Ladle into warm bowls, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig including the pretty blue blossoms if available.
I have made pasta e ceci many times over the years, originally inspired by my old blogger friend Frank and his wonderful website Memorie di Angelina featuring truly authentic Italian recipes that are a tribute to the cooking of his nonna. Grazie, Frank!