Vegan pasta e ceci (pasta and chickpeas in Italian) is just the perfect comfort food for a cold evening. It blends healthy chickpeas with pasta in a delicious herby broth for a meal that's both tasty and nutritious.
Pasta e ceci is a delicious one-pot Italian dish that's a bit like a cross between a soup, stew and a tomato paste. It's a flavourful and nourishing recipe that's cooked with pantry ingredients for a speedy meal that also happens to be naturally vegan.
Pasta e ceci translates to pasta and chickpeas and it's a Roman peasant dish that is made in countless variations today.
Some types of pasta e ceci are more brothy, whereas others are more like a stew. In any case, the main ingredients are always the same — pasta and chickpeas.
Why you'll love this vegan pasta e ceci
- It's warm, comforting and nourishing. Pasta e ceci is a one-pot Italian recipe that's naturally vegan and super satisfying even without any sides.
- It's very easy to make. You only need a handful of ingredients to make a delicious pot of Italian pasta with chickpeas. You can have it on the table in just over half an hour by using canned chickpeas.
- It will please the entire family. It's very difficult not to like pasta e ceci, even if you're not a vegan. This comforting dish is sure to please adults and children alike.
Ingredients and substitutions
Onion, carrot and celery — These veggies form the soffrito, which is the flavour base of this recipe. Cut them into small cubes so they cook quickly and evenly.
Garlic — Freshly chopped garlic is best for this pasta e ceci recipe.
Fresh rosemary and thyme — I love the flavours of fresh herbs in this Italian pasta with chickpeas, but if you don't have them, you can use half a teaspoon of dried thyme and rosemary each. Alternatively, use a teaspoon of Italian seasoning mix.
Tomato paste — Not all versions of pasta e ceci have tomato paste, but a tablespoon can add some extra colour and flavour to the dish.
Chickpeas — I use canned chickpeas for convenience when making pasta e ceci. This always comes in handy when you don't know what to cook and haven't planned the meal before. You can, of course, use chickpeas that you've cooked from scratch.
Vegetable stock — Both homemade and shop-bought veggie stock works for this recipe. It's important to use the best quality you can because stock can make or break this dish.
Pasta — Any small pasta is great for pasta e ceci. I used rotini, but ditalini or shells are also perfect here.
How to make pasta with chickpeas
Season with a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper, then stir in the garlic, rosemary and thyme. Continue to cook for a minute until fragrant.
Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente. The pasta should still have a bit of a bite at this point.
Stir in the fresh parsley, season to taste and divide into bowls. Serve with extra fresh parsley and black pepper, if you like.
Leftovers and storage
- Pasta with chickpeas will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Since the pasta will continue to absorb liquid as it sits, you may need to add some water or stock when reheating.
- I don't recommend freezing this dish if you have already added the pasta. The pasta will become mushy after defrosting. However, you can freeze a batch of pasta e ceci without pasta and add some fresh pasta cooked separately before serving.
Recipe notes and tips
- You can make pasta e ceci creamier by blending the contents of a can of chickpeas in a blender before adding it to the soup.
- Make sure you have some extra vegetable stock on hand because the pasta may absorb the liquid quickly. If you notice the sauce looks too dry, stir in more stock until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Add a starchy potato with the onion, carrot and celery for a creamier texture.
If you liked this vegan pasta e ceci, you might also like some of my other easy vegan one-pot recipes:
- One-Pot Vegan Jambalaya
- Vegan Spanish Chickpeas and Rice
- Easy One Pot Vegan Chili Mac
- Vegan Chickpea Chili
- Creamy Vegan Gnocchi Soup