Pasta E Ceci! It’s soup season, and this big bowl of comforting goodness is shining bright like the star that it is. You don’t want to miss making this simple and flavorful dish.
Oil-free, wholesome, and brimming with plant-based ingredients, this Pasta E Ceci is sure to put a smile on your face. Pasta E Ceci translates to pasta and chickpeas, an Italian classic that is comfort food at its finest. The whole family will love it!
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
We are all about Italian food over here! I am Sicilian after all. Dad is all about converting classic Italian recipes to Whole Food Plant Based. He loves all the little twists and turns that Mom and I do to modernize classic Italian recipes into WFPB healthy, flavorful goodness!
Every Italian family has their own version of Pasta E Ceci! This WFPB twist is obviously oil-free, but also low-fat, but definitely not lacking in flavor. The good news is that you can completely control all your favorite herbs and spices in this soup recipe.
Please be sure to read the Tips for Success below as we believe keeping the pasta separate from the soup broth really makes a difference and Dad agreed!
You gotta give this one a try! We freaking loved it! Dad devoured it like a champ! LOL
Tips for Success:
- Chickpea Substitutes: This is a traditional Italian recipe that uses chickpeas. However, you can substitute with your favorite white bean if you wish.
- Kale Substitutes: You can use your favorite greens with this recipe. We suggest sticking to fresh baby greens like baby kale or baby spinach, etc. You can also use more mature greens; however, use less and cook until completely tender.
- Chopping the Fresh Baby Kale: Chopping the fresh baby kale creates a better mouth feel. You can leave it whole if you prefer. We removed the stems as they tend to be long.
- Herbs and Spices: The amounts on the herbs and spices can be added or subtracted as desired. Keep in mind that the more greens (kale or spinach) used in the soup, the more spices/herbs will be needed as greens tend to neutralize herbs and spices and mellow them out.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda is often used as a neutralizer for dishes that contain a lot of acidity, typically from tomatoes. We use it in this dish to remove some of the tomato acidity (from the tomato paste and petite diced tomatoes) without losing the tomatoey flavor. When you add it, the mixture may bubble up, then settle down as it neutralizes the acidity.
- Fire Roasted Petite Diced Tomatoes Substitution: You can substitute the Fire Roasted Petite Diced Tomatoes with regular Petite Diced Tomatoes. The flavor will change ever so slightly.
- Amount of Cooked Pasta: The amount of cooked pasta is a personal choice. Some folks like to really load up their soup with a lot of pasta while others only like a tiny bit.
- Type of Cooked Pasta: Just about any type of cooked pasta works well in this soup. We suggest using a small pasta like elbows, ditalini, or small shells.
- Keeping the Pasta out of the Soup while cooking: Pasta is thirsty. It will soak up a lot of liquids and make for a less brothy soup. Additionally, if using a gluten-free pasta, it really tends to get mushy. That is an additional reason why we suggest cooking the pasta separately and placing it in your soup dish, then ladle the soup over top. This is how most restaurants serve soups that have pasta in them.
- Low Fat Dish Expectations: This dish is designed to be a low-fat dish. It is not going to taste as decadent as a dish that has a higher fat content. It is very delicious, but we want to make sure the reader understands this. If you wish to make it more decadent, replace the nutritional yeast with Vegan Parmesan Cheese or simply top with Vegan Parmesan Cheese.
- Amount of Sea Salt: We had family members completely divided over the amount of sea salt needed to season this soup, feel free to adjust to suit your own tastes accordingly.
- Red Pepper Flakes: We suggest that you hold off adding the red pepper flakes until the very end. Red pepper flakes can turn bitter if cooked too long.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
This dish can be frozen; however, it is best if served immediately after making or after refrigerating leftovers. Pasta does tend to get a little mushy after freezing. We suggest keeping the pasta separate for perfect freezing.
Pantry Products Used:
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
- Dried Thyme Crushed Leaves: We use Penzeys French Thyme. It has amazing flavor. If you can’t find dried crushed thyme leaves, you can use ground thyme, but use half the amount.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Ceramic/Enamel Lined Dutch Oven or similarly large stock pot
- Stock pot to cook the pasta
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.Print
Oil-free, wholesome, and brimming with plant-based ingredients, this Pasta E Ceci is sure to put a smile on your face.
- 1 medium yellow onion, fine dice
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 3 cups water
- 1 – [ 14.4 oz. can ] fire roasted petite diced tomatoes *
- 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] chickpeas, drained and rinsed *
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil (+/-) *
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano (+/-) *
- ¼ teaspoon dried crushed thyme leaves (+/-) *
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (+/-) *
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (+/-)
- ¾ to 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt (+/-) *
- Pinch to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes *
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 2 to 3 cups chopped baby kale *
- 1/3 to ½ cup cooked GF pasta (of choice) (+/-) *
- Cook pasta accordingly to package directions, drain and rinse well with cold water, set aside.
- Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients (except the red pepper flakes) in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- In a large ceramic/enamel-lined pot or similar stock soup pot, add the diced onions, sauté over medium-high heat until the onions begin to soften, approximately 7 to 9 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent burning. Add a tablespoon or so of water if they start to stick and/or to prevent burning.
- Add the minced garlic and tomato paste, sauté for 30 seconds, then add all the remaining Base Ingredients and Spice/Herb Mix, stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a low-boiling simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Simmer for 7 minutes, then add the chopped baby kale and distilled white vinegar, simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the red pepper flakes. Taste test for seasonings, add more if desired.
- To serve, place the cooked pasta into individual serving bowls, spoon the hot soup over top, stir. Enjoy!
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 4 to 5
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