WASHINGTON, DC-June 8: Ceci e tria- buckwheat pasta with chickpea, parsley, and anchovy at Centrolina Osteria and Market in City Center in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Suchman/For the Washington Post)
Pasta E Ceci: The Underrated Italian Pasta Dish That Features Chickpeas
By Carly Weaver
Rome is not just known for its ancient monuments and fountains, but it’s also home to classic pasta dishes like carbonara, cacio e pepe, gricia, and amatriciana. When in Rome, these traditional dishes are a must-try, but you can’t leave the Eternal City without trying the under-the-radar pasta e ceci, which literally means pasta and chickpeas.
While you’ll find various versions of this supremely comforting winter dish all over Italy, the Roman version is made as a thick soup or stew, similar to the Neapolitan pasta e fagioli. It’s made with a small amount of diced tomatoes or puree, includes an herb like rosemary, and is finished off with grated parmesan cheese.
But what truly sets the Roman version apart is anchovies, which are usually sauteed in oil with garlic. Then the chickpeas, tomatoes, herbs, and any other vegetables or proteins are added before the pasta (along with some water or stock) is added to be cooked through in the warm, wintry, stewy goodness.