Pasta and Chickpeas

Or Pasta e Ceci – a comforting pasta and bean stew
45 minutes Total Time
20 minutes to prep
25 minutes to cook
4 servings
This is a favorite recipe for when we want something warm and comforting without a lot of effort. I have adapted this recipe from Cook's Illustrated. The original recipe was perfect as written, but as is usual for me, I use less oil and skip a few ingredients that we don't miss. You do need a food processor for this but it makes this recipe super easy. You could possibly mince all the ingredients by hand, but the beauty of this recipe is letting the food processor do the work. You don't even drain and rinse the beans to the only work there is to open the cans.
Do not drain the beans. Cooking the beans before you add the pasta makes them more tender. The original recipe used pancetta (2 oz) instead of bacon. We like it both ways, so if I have pancetta (which I buy at Trader Joe's) I will use that, but bacon is cheaper and something I always have in the refrigerator. Fresh rosemary adds good flavor here. During the winter after my plant dies, I continue to buy it in the produce section and it keeps for a few weeks in the refigerator.



  • Gather and prep ingredients.
    Step 0
  • Process bacon in the food processor so that it forms a paste. You might need to scrape the bowl down a couple times.
    Step 1
  • Add the carrot, onion, and garlic to the food processor. Pulse the processor about 10 times until the carrot and onion and finely chopped.
    Step 2
  • Add olive oil to Dutch oven. Add pancetta mixture from food processor. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Mixture should be dry and start to brown.
    Step 3
  • Add red pepper, rosemary, and anchovy paste (if using). Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    Step 4
  • Add tomatoes, chickpeas with their juice, water and salt. Raise heat to high to bring to a boil. Scrape bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
    Step 5
  • Add pasta. Stir every minute or so. Cook for 10-12 more minutes until pasta is tender.
    Step 6
  • Add parmesan cheese and serve.
    Step 7
  • Leftovers can be frozen but the flavors do get muted. Leftovers can be saved in the refrigerator. The pasta will soak up more of the juice, so you may want to thin with some water when reheating if you like it saucier.
    Step 8

Comments and Questions

Log In or Sign Up if you would like to comment.

There are no questions or comments yet.