Pasta e Ceci: an Italian Tradition – How to Make it

  • 291

pasta e ceciPasta and garbanzo bean soup

Who said Winter has always to be the coldest season? In Italy, we think that Winter is the perfect time to stay inside with our friends and families, with a hot beverage or a soup.

That is why Italian cuisine is full of recipes to prepare during winter: one of them is the traditional pasta and garbanzo bean soup.

Buon appetito!


Serves 4

• 300 g dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
• 1 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
• 4 cloves garlic, bruised
• 2 sprigs rosemary
• 6 T extravirgin olive oil
• 2 tbs tomato concentrate/puré
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 250-500 ml stock (homemade or bouillon cube)
• 200g tagliatelle pasta, broken into short lengths (or ‘rigatoni’ pasta), or any other kind of pasta


In Tuscany this dish is traditionally cooked in a deep, flameproof earthenware dish. Rinse the beans well and place in a large bowl of cold water with the baking soda. Leave to soak overnight or for at least 12 hours. Drain with a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 2 garlic cloves and a sprig of rosemary. Cover, leaving space for steam to escape and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the beans are very tender, adding a pinch of salt after about 50 minutes. Drain but keep the cooking water to use later. Purée 3/4 of the garbanzo beans in a food processor or food mill, keeping the remainder whole. Heat half the olive oil in a large heavybottomed saucepan and sauté the remaining garlic and rosemary sprig for 3 minutes. Add the tomato purée and continue cooking over a moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the puréed and whole garbanzo beans and the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. If the soup is very thick, dilute with a little hot stock. Add the tagliatelle and cook for about 10 minutes until the pasta is ready. Season with salt and pepper and a generous dash of extra virgin olive oil.

** If you are using fresh pasta you will only need about 34 minutes until the pasta will be ready. If you have made a large quantity of soup, add the pasta only to the quantity of soup you would like to eat. It is always best to add new pasta each time you reheat the soup. **