Wanna hear a funny story? Well, not funny like wet-yourself-comedy-show-funny, but funny like amusing.
I’ve been making this dish for years. Many years. I originally got the recipe from a friend. I don’t ever remember it having a name, although of course it did. All recipes have a name. Unless you’re Paul, and then everything is “that dish with the stuff…and the stuff.” (Which is not at all helpful when I’m putting together my weekly menu. Ahem.)
I made it again last week. And the next day, I swear I saw about 15 recipes that looked just like it. (Sort of like when you buy a car – a car you’ve never noticed on the road before, but then the minute you own one, it’s like so does everyone else – ya, like that.)
Anyway, then I was like, “Ooooooh. This is an actual dish. A popular dish.” But wait! Is it Pasta e Fagioli or Pasta e Ceci? They seemed almost identical. I asked my trusty Facebook crowd and they confirmed that it’s the latter.
So, there you have it. We absolutely love this version of Pasta e Ceci. Or as Paul calls it “that thick soupy casserole with the pasta, chickpeas, and yummy stuff.” (And pssst, it’s not at all like a casserole, but consider the source.)
That was a little amusing, right? If not, at least you have a new recipe to make!
Pasta e Ceci
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
• 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 6 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 cups dried ditalini pasta
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot, over medium heat, warm the olive oil and saute the onion, carrot, and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the tomato paste, oregano, thyme, the chickpeas, and 2 cups of veggie broth; stir to combine. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining veggie broth, bring it to a boil and cook the pasta in the soup until just al dente, mixing occasionally so it doesn’t stick, about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Mix in the Parmesan cheese.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle a little more Parmesan on top.