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Pasta e-Ceci: Italian Chickpea Soup with Pasta

The Middle-Eastern cuisine is not the only that uses chickpeas to make delicious dishes. This one is a traditional Italian recipe, which is wonderful for cold days and is so rich that it can be served as a main course.

פסטה א-צ'צ'י, מרק חומוס עם פסטה

Don’t tell anyone, but in the rare moments when we’re not eating hummus we are also very fond of pasta. We also very fond of Barella, the beautiful girl who’s responsible for this wonderful recipe as well as the gorgeous photo.

Barella’s family has a boutique business for fresh pasta, called Pasta Della Casa. Barella, who is in charge of their website, posts exquisite Italian recipes on it. Most unfortunately, they are all in Hebrew. This specific one, however, certainly belongs in the Hummus Blog, so with her kind permission we translated it. You ought to try it out.

Pasta e-Caci

An easy-to-make chickpea & pasta soup

(for 6 servings)
1/2 Kg dry chickpeas, washed then soaked overnight
1 finely chopped Onion
2 medium Potatos, cut into small cubes
5 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
5 tbs Olive oil
3 branches of fresh Rosemary
Salt, Pepper
1/4 ts ground dry hot Chili
1/2 glass White Wine
3 liter of Water (can be partially switched with chicken brine)
400gr fresh Pasta*, preferably radiatori, cunchili or casareci.

* if you don’t have fresh pasta, use partially cooked dry pasta.

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and fry the onions until they are golden.
2. Add the garlic, rosemary, potatoes and chickpeas (after washing and filtering), fry a little, then add the wine.
3. Add the water and boil, then cook half-covered over a small fire for about 2 hours. The chickpeas should soften completely but keep their shape. Remove  about a third of the chickpeas from the pot. During cooking, take out the rosemary branches.
4. Add the salt (about 1.5 tbs), pepper and chili.
5. Purée the soup (preferably) using a (hand held) food processor. Put the cooked chickpeas back in.
6. Add the pasta and cook shortly (don’t over cook the pasta).
7. Serve hot with a slight drizzle of olive oil.

Note that different varieties of chickpeas will make different textures and flavors. The larger ones (Garbanzo Bean or “Spanish chickpea”) give a much thicker soup. The smaller ones have a more delicate flavor and require less cooking.

4 Comments on Pasta e-Ceci: Italian Chickpea Soup with Pasta

  1. I think you meant “Chicken Stock” and not “Chicken Brine” since “Brine is salty water, especially salty water that is used for preserving food.” (see

  2. I found your site today and am very impressed! My husband and I just recently got introduced to hummus. He REALLY enjoys a roasted red pepper prepackaged one that we tried, but it is so expensive, and if you and others are right, if I make a good homemade one it will be even better. I have dried chickpeas soaking right now 🙂

    I am just so happy with your site and think you’re doing a great job especially not being a native English speaker. Good job, and thank you!

  3. I think you mean Pasta e ceci rather than pasta e caci (cachi are a popular fruit in Italy)

  4. Jennifer Corvato // April 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm // Reply

    I made this two weeks ago. It was delicious but too thick, so this time I am going to remove 2/3 of the beans and purée 1/3 and if it still is too thick do my mother in law’s trick-add a little pasta water from the ditalini that I used. It gives a subtle creamy flavor to bean soups.

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