This classic Italian dish has many proud family and regional variations and the strong opinions that go with them. There are debates about whether it should be served as a soup, stew or pasta. This recipe takes the pasta route, and it’s a good one! Begin by sautéing onion, garlic and rosemary in olive oil, then add tomatoes, red wine and protein-packed chickpeas, mashing a few to achieve a creamy texture. Add cooked orchiette pasta that cradles the sauce in its dome shape, and Sunday dinner is served! It’s said that a little ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil upon serving pops the flavor. Ciao.
Pasta e Ceci – Italian Pasta & Chickpeas
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp. finely minced fresh rosemary
- 1 28 oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes with juices
- ¾ cup dry red wine
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 lb. orecchiette pasta
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In large pot of well-salted water, prepare pasta according to package directions. Reserve approximately ½ cup cooking water before draining.
In large skillet over medium heat with olive oil, add onion, garlic and rosemary and sauté for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes (breaking up with wooden spoon), wine, tomato paste and salt. Stir to combine and raise heat to bring to simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add chickpeas, mashing approximately half with potato masher. Let simmer an additional 10 minutes.
Add pasta to sauce skillet. Gently stir in ¼-½ cup reserved pasta cooking water and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.