Pasta E Ceci (Pasta and Chickpeas)

READY IN: 1hr 10mins
YIELD: 1 pot




  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add olive oil, and begin to saute the pancetta or bacon over medium-high heat. When sufficiently browned, remove all but 2 tsp or so of the fat.
  • Add onions and celery, sweat three minutes or so until they soften, add garlic, cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Add pimento (or roasted red peppers), cook for a minute or so, then stir in hot pepper flakes (or cayenne), and anchovy paste, if you’re using it.
  • Add tomatoes, paste, and chicken broth, stirring until tomato paste is smooth. Add sugar, bay leaf and basil. Make sure it comes to a simmer if it already isn’t, then turn heat down to medium-low, cover and let simmer for at least 40 minutes or so, stirring fairly frequently.
  • Add pasta, and a little extra water if needed (I went with a bit under 1.5 cups of additional water), stir, and simmer, till pasta is tender. You will need to stir pretty frequently, or else surrender yourself to bottom-stick-stew.
  • Top with some Parmesan or Romano.