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Pasta e Ceci (pasta with chickpeas)

When it comes to pasta e ceci, the variations are endless. I have a few myself that I have and this is just one of them. I like to make this one more so on weeknight’s, as I can get it on the table, quickly and easily. This one is a tomato based one that is very creamy. I will definitely show you my other pasta e ceci recipes as well.


Recipe by: Mark Calaminici | Food Loves Company

Serves 4


3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced or chopped

Chili flakes, to taste

¼ cup tomato paste, or more to taste

1 can chickpeas, reserve some of the liquid (optional)

Salt, to taste

Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

½ cup heavy cream, or more to taste

1lb Ditalini pasta, reserve pasta water

60g Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated

8 fresh basil leaves, or more to taste, torn into small pieces


1. In a large sauté-pan over medium heat, add olive oil, butter and garlic. As everything starts to heat up, add the tomato paste. Create a hot spot in the pan to “toast” your tomato paste to help bring out it’s flavour. After a minute or two, mix it around in the pan to incorporate.

2. Add chickpeas, with half of the chickpea liquid (optional) and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Sauté until the chickpeas start to soften. Mash a bit of the chickpeas, as much as you like. Add heavy cream and then simmer as you cook the pasta.

3. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water just before al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve pasta water.

4. Add a ladle of pasta water to the pan with the chickpeas, this will help create the sauce. Remove pasta a couple minutes before al dente to finish cooking in the pan. Add pasta to the pan and mix and toss to incorporate everything adding more pasta water if needed. Turn off or remove pan from the heat and add Parmigiano-Reggiano a handful at a time while mixing and tossing. If you find the pasta is to thick just add a bite more pasta water to help loosen it up. Add basil, mix and toss then plate. Garnish with more Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh basil. Enjoy!


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