Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas) with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Parmesan

pasta-ceci-0057 Here is another typical dish of the Italian traditional cuisine that’s a bit underestimated outside of Italy. Yet chickpeas nutritious and digestible, a good source of essential fatty acids, containing a high percentage of carbohydrates. 100 grams of cooked chickpeas provides only 120 calories, a lot of vitamins, proteins and minerals, especially iron and calcium.

pasta-ceci-0064 I originally thought of adding the word “skinny” to the title of this recipe. I know for a fact that the word “skinny” is tempting us all! I wouldn’t be cheating since this “pasta and chickpeas” is definitely lighter than any lasagne dish or pizza. As you can see from the pics, it is not drowning in melting cheese (I let mac and cheese win the prize of foodporn par excellence).

pasta-ceci-0001 However, this is not even what we would call skinny in Italy: it is just what we normally eat, what my mum still cooks at least a couple of times a month. Something easy to make that includes all the ingredients we love the most: pasta, tomatoes, Parmesan and a perfect measure of fragrant olive oil. Can you see why I like this dish so much?


Pasta e Ceci (Chickpea with Pasta) with Sun dried Tomatoes


  • 1 can cooked chickpeas
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 litre of cooking water
  • 100g of cut spaghetti (or small pasta shapes)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli (optional)
  • 4-5 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 25 ml of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Parmesan
  • Salt and chopped parsley to season


  1. Pour the olive oil into a heavy based saucepan and heat gently.
  2. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and fry over a gentle heat till soft and golden.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes (sun dired tomatoes included) and stir fry for a couple of minutes before adding the cooked chickpeas, water and the seasonings. Simmer for approx 10 mins, then remove about half of the soup and blend (I used a blender). Keep aside.
  4. Add the raw pasta to the pot then simmer gently, stirring regularly to make sure the pasta doesn't start sticking to the base of the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add a little more water if necessary.
  5. Once the pasta is almost done, return the pureed soup to the pan, cook for one minute more (if you want to evaporate all the liquids and get it denser) then let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
  6. Serve with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan and chopped parsley.

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  • Kumar's Kitchen May 31, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    such a lovely,fresh and flavored pasta dish…and we can feel how magical fragrant olive oil makes this dish…chickpeas are a favorite at home….and this dish is simply irresistible,thanks so much for sharing this scrumptious pasta 🙂

  • dina June 1, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    i love pasta with chick peas. it looks great!

  • Rosa June 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    A scrumptious pasta dish and wonderful combination! Great clicks.



  • rika@vm June 2, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    A friend of mine learned how to make chickpea-based creamy pasta from an Italian cooking class last year and it’s like a healthier version of “Alfredo.” You make your own veggie stock, soak and cook dried chickpeas and blend them together in a creamy sauce. I love the name, Pasta e Ceci, it sounds pretty cute! Looks wonderful with the sun-dried tomatoes.

    • Daniela @FoodRecipesHQ June 3, 2014 at 9:31 am

      Yes, in some part of Italy this dish is made the way you just said! blending part of the chickpeas with some stock provides a light creamy texture… Next time, I’ll make it this way, thanks for suggesting it Rika!

  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health June 2, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Oh yes, I can definitely see why you like this so much. It has all of the right ingredients!
    I’m glad you didn’t call it “skinny”. Pasta e Ceci is so much more romantic. Plus, the dish sells itself!

  • Rebecca June 3, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Chickpeas are great, especially for a vegetarian like me not to mention cheap. This looks great (spaghetti w/ a tomato sauce is my comfort food!)

    • Daniela @FoodRecipesHQ June 3, 2014 at 9:32 am

      You’re right, it is also cheap. This dish belongs to the Italian “poor cuisine” tradition!

  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen June 3, 2014 at 4:03 am

    I love chickpeas – so I know that this pasta is perfect for me! Love it and the pictures are gorgeous!

    • Daniela @FoodRecipesHQ June 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

      I’m glad you liked the pics! I shot this in raw but now I’m back to jpeg format 🙂

  • Asmita June 3, 2014 at 11:08 am

    what a beautiful pasta dish! So comforting and satisfying! Loving it!!

  • Shashi @ RunninSrilankan June 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Chickpeas paired with sundried tomatoes – ooh, so so good!

  • Jess @ whatjessicabakednext June 4, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    This pasta sounds amazing, Daniela! Love the flavours- definitely going to try it out.

  • Kiran @ June 5, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Delicious and nutritious!!

  • Tiff June 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    What a gorgeous looking pasta dish. I love chickpeas & I wasn’t sure if using them in pasta was traditionally Italian or not. I must try this dish one day!! I actually SORT OF tried out your papaya smoothie recipe. The only thing is I added various fruits (they were about to go bad) & I used orange juice in place of water. I also only used a few pieces of papaya. The smoothie was excellent, nevertheless so I can’t wait to try out this recipe! 🙂 Beautiful photos as per usual, Daniela!!