Pasta e ceci alla Romana

Pasta with chickpeas is a classic. One of the reasons we love this dish is because it perfectly represents the idea of “cucina povera.” There are several variations of this pasta dish, but the Roman one is our favorite! Pasta e ceci alla Romana uses anchovies and tomato concentrate, which make it especially flavorful.

Serves 4 people.

Ingredients

300gr chickpeas (2/3 of the bag)
150gr mezzi paccheri (1/3 of the bag)
1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
4 spoons EVOO
3 anchovies, rinsed and filleted
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 rosemary
Sea Salt
Pepper

Preparation

  1. Soak the chickpeas for about 8 hours
  2. Next, discard the water and cook the chickpeas in simmering unsalted water with the rosemary for about 2 hours (or until they are soft)
  3. Season the chickpeas with salt
  4. Drain them, but save half of the cooking water and set aside
  5. Sautee the garlic with the EVOO in a big pan
  6. Add the anchovies to the pan, letting them dissolve in the oil
  7. Add the tomato concentrate and about 8 spoonfuls of the chickpea water
  8. Let simmer for 5 minutes, until smooth
  9. Drain the chickpeas and add them to the sauce, mixing thoroughly*
  10. Bring some salted water to a boil and cook the pasta
  11. Drain the pasta when al dente (saving some pasta water) and add it to the pan with the chickpea sauce
  12. Use the pasta water, little by little, to reach the perfect creamy texture
  13. Serve with a sprinkle of black pepper and a drizzle of EVOO

*You can blend or mash some of the chickpeas if you’d like a creamier texture, and add them back to the pan.

Notabene: If you are running short on time, you can do steps 1-9 the day before and store in your fridge.