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Pasta with Chickpeas

  • 2 hours
  • Medium
  • First Courses
This is a satisfying pasta and chickpeas soup that is commonly found on Italian tables. It is the ideal way to warm up on a cool autumn day.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • lb chickpeas
  • 5 oz pasta
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 anchovies, salted
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 oz tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


Boil the chickpeas (which were left to soak the day before), in salted water with the rosemary.

They should cook for about an hour and a half. In another casserole put 4 spoonfuls of oil, the chopped garlic and the anchovies cleaned and cut in pieces.

Sauté, then add the tomato conserve diluted with a little cooking liquid from the chickpeas.

Cook for 10 minutes, decant the chickpeas with their cooking liquid, removing the rosemary. When the water has started to boil again, toss in the pasta and cook.

The soup must be fairly dense and is served with freshly-ground black pepper.

Food History

Today, chickpeas (ceci in Italian) are one of the most commonly found bean in the world, particularly in the Middle East and India. In Italy, chickpeas are grown primarily in the central regions of the country. A relative of a wild legume, probably of Turkish origin, chickpeas have been cultivated for centuries and the oldest traces of the chickpea plant were found in modern-day Iraq. Chickpeas were surely around in ancient Egypt, where they were served to the slaves, as well as in ancient Greece and Rome.
In addition, the word ceci is linked to an important episode in Sicilian history. In the 18th century, Sicily was under the control of the French Angiò dynasty, but in 1282 a revolt occurred in Palermo, later known as the Sicilian Vespers. During the revolt, the Sicilian rebels came up with a special technique for de-masking the Frenchmen who attempted to hide in the bushes and foliage. When the Sicilians thought they had found someone trying to escape, they asked for them to pronounce the word ciceri (or chickpea in Sicilian dialect). The French were often unable to pronounce the word, however if they did, they were released, believed to be Sicilian.

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