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Pasta with Chickpeas Plated

Pasta with Chickpeas

Michele
Brothy Pasta with Chickpeas (a.k.a., Pasta e Ceci) is part of a category of Italian and Italian-American dishes that I refer to as “soupy pastas”. It can be as liquid-y or as dry as you want, depending on your mood. But, there is one thing for certain—it is ITALIAN COMFORT FOOD through and through. A simple, yet beautiful, combination of pasta and beans in a very cucina povera sort of way, it is sure to please!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Soup, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup small diced yellow onions
  • 1 cup small diced celery
  • 1 cup small diced carrots
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 (15.5 ounce) cans cooked chickpeas plus liquid (if low sodium) (See NOTE below.)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 4 cups low- or no-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1-2 parmigiano or pecorino rinds, if available
  • salt for pasta water (see NOTE below)
  • 1 pound dry pasta shells or other small pasta
  • 1-2 tsp chopped fresh marjoram, plus more for serving
  • 1-2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1-2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
  • grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Prep all ingredients according to specifications above.
  • Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for about 4 minutes, or until vegetables have softened a bit, stirring occasionally.
  • Add rosemary sprig, chickpeas and their liquid, and tomatoes and stir. Carefully mash the tomatoes using a potato masher to your desired level of chunkiness, then add the broth and rind and mix until all ingredients are well-combined.
  • Cover pot and bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer, partially covered, for about 15 to 18 minutes or until the vegetables are soft, stirring regularly.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the pasta.
  • Remove rosemary sprig and reduce heat to low. Then carefully purée the mixture PARTIALLY using an immersion blender. Leave as many chunks as you desire, but a roughly 30% puree is a great place to start. Stir in fresh herbs. (The puréeing step is optional. See NOTE below.)
  • Once the pasta water comes to a boil, add some salt. (Use 1 1/2-2 Tbsp salt, depending on which type used. See comment in RECIPE INGREDIENTS above.) Add pasta to salted water and cook for HALF the time noted on the package.
  • Use a spider or hand strainer to transfer the partially-cooked pasta to the pot of soup and stir well. Simmer until the pasta is al dente, then turn off heat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and serve piping hot. Top each bowl of Pasta with Chickpeas with a light drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano cheese, and some chopped herbs, if desired. Buon Appetito!

Notes

  • This recipe can easily be cut in half to yield a smaller amount.
  • To save time when cooking, prep the vegetables in advance and store them in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator for up to one day.
  • If you use canned beans to make this dish, the only wild card is to whether or not to use the starchy liquid that comes with the canned beans. This is a personal choice, but here is my advice: if you buy no- or low-sodium high quality (preferably organic) canned beans, then it is probably okay to use the bean liquid. Otherwise, you may end up with an overly salty, briny and strange tasting liquid in your dish. If you choose not to use the canned bean liquid and have homemade chicken stock available, the collagen in the stock will create texture in the final dish. Otherwise, just use some vegetable or chicken broth as the liquid in this recipe.
  • If you prefer to start with dried beans, use about 1 pound dried chickpeas. Soak them in water overnight, then drain them and boil them in a large pot with fresh water until tender.
  • The whole tomatoes can be hand-crushed prior to adding them to the pot, instead of with a potato masher in the pot.
  • No need to partially puree the beans and vegetables in the soup if you prefer a more brothy and thin soup with lots of chunks. The puréeing step is yields a thicker soup with greater variety of texture, but is completely optional.
  • Use a large (7-8 quart) pot with 6 quarts water for 1 pound of pasta. Bring the water to a boil before adding the salt. Use 1 1/2-2 Tbsp salt, depending on which type used. (See comment in INGREDIENTS above.)
  • The soup gets better as it sits, so it is a great option to make ahead of time. It does, however, tend to get thicker as the pasta absorbs more and more liquid. So, you may want to add some water when reheating.
  • This soup freezes really well! Make a large batch, portion it into containers and freeze for up to two months to enjoy down the road.
  • Don't forget to drizzle the finished dish with some high quality extra-virgin olive oil for an additional hit of flavor and richness.
Recipe by Mangia With Michele. Please visit my site for more great cooking inspiration!
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Keyword pasta with chickpeas, pasta, soup, soup recipes, pasta recipes, chickpeas
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