Paste E Ceci – Pasta with Chickpeas

An example of Cucina Povera, Pasta with Tomatoes and Chickpeas inspired by one of my favorite test kitchens. The brothy pasta is served in bowls with spoons.

Paste E Ceci - Pasta with Chickpeas
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 6 oz. Calamarata Pasta or orecchiette or other short pasta
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving. For a different texture, shave Parmesan in flakes rather than grating it.
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium.
  2. Add onion and season with salt.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and garlic are both very soft and just beginning to brown around the edges, 5–6 minutes longer.
  5. Add rosemary and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add chickpeas and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are slightly thickened, 6–8 minutes.
  7. Add pasta and 4 cups water. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking, until pasta is al dente, 13–16 minutes depending on shape.
  8. Stir in parsley and 3 Tbsp. Parmesan; season with salt.
  9. Divide brothy pasta between bowls. Drizzle with more oil and top with Parmesan and black pepper.


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