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Pasta e Ceci made with tomatoes, pancetta, orecchiette pasta, and chickpeas, garnished with grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
5 from 4 votes

Pasta with Chickpeas (Pasta e Ceci)

This Pasta with Chickpeas Recipe, or Pasta e Ceci, is made with simple pantry essentials including canned chickpeas, orecchiette pasta, tomatoes, and simple aromatics including onion, carrots, and celery. Easily customizable and ready in less than an hour, enjoy this humble Italian Pasta with Chickpeas with fresh bread and a light tomato salad.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 238.8kcal


  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion - minced
  • 2 ounces pancetta - roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots - peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 rib celery - chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes - crushed using your hands
  • 2 large tomatoes - cored and diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary - minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme - minced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas - drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces orecchiette - cooked to al dente
  • cups water - (or low-sodium broth)
  • salt and pepper - to taste
  • 1 lemon - juiced
  • grated parmesan cheese - for serving
  • fresh chopped parsley - for serving


  • Saute the onions. Add the olive oil and onions to a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Cook the onions, stirring often, for 6-8 minutes.
  • Process the pancetta. Meanwhile, as the onions cook, add the pancetta to a small food processor and blend until ground into a thick paste, scraping down sides as needed. Remove the pancetta and transfer to a small plate. Add the carrots and celery and pulse until minced into small bits. Transfer the small chopped up bits of carrot and celery to the same bowl as the pancetta. Set aside.
  • Add the garlic and pancetta mixture. Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the minced garlic and pancetta mixture to the onions. Mix well to combine. Continue to cook, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and tomatoes. Stir in the tomato paste first and thoroughly mix to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the canned stewed tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. Bring to a low simmer.
  • Add the fresh herbs, chickpeas, and broth. Add the fresh minced rosemary, thyme, drained and rinsed chickpeas, and water (or low-sodium broth) to the pot. Mix well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover with a lid and bring to a low simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Cook the pasta. As the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Cook until al dente then drain (reserving 1 cup of leftover pasta water).
  • Add the cooked pasta, lemon juice, and parmesan to the pot. Mix well to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste and garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.


Calories: 238.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 39.38g | Protein: 8.12g | Fat: 6.03g | Saturated Fat: 1.61g | Cholesterol: 6.24mg | Sodium: 127.82mg | Potassium: 524.29mg | Fiber: 4.03g | Sugar: 6.46g | Vitamin A: 1530.84IU | Vitamin C: 29.76mg | Calcium: 42.22mg | Iron: 1.27mg
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