September 24, 2023


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Sardinian Fregola with Chickpeas. – The Pasta Undertaking

7 min read

This warming Sardinian fregola with chickpeas is a nutritious and scrumptious barely spicy vegetarian/vegan pasta soup recipe from Sardinia. Often known as ‘pasta e ceci’ in Italian, that is good chilly climate consolation meals. Add spinach for color and extra fiber or pancetta/guanciale for a non-vegetarian model.

Sardinian fregola with chickpeas (pasta e ceci).

Pasta with chickpeas is wholesome.

When the chilly days of November and December hit, utilizing pasta in soups could be very well-liked right here in Italy. Pasta provides wholesome carbohydrates and bulk that flip a soup right into a hearty dish. Legumes are additionally a standard ingredient in Italian soups. On this Sardinian recipe, the chickpeas add protein, calcium, iron and fiber in addition to different vitamins, so this fregola with chickpeas is a well-balanced meal too!

Sardinian fregola with chickpeas (pasta e ceci)

I’ve at all times discovered it intriguing that many conventional Italian recipes are so nutritious. Again within the day when dishes like pasta with chickpeas turned well-liked, folks didn’t actually perceive the dietary worth of the totally different meals they ate! They only put dishes collectively based mostly on what was seasonal and accessible and what they grew or foraged!

Ingredients for fregola with chickpeas on wood wrok surface.
Step 1 Collect your elements, chickpeas,tomatoes, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, inventory dice and fregola.

Chickpea recipes in Sardinia.

Individuals have cultivated chickpeas in Sardinia for the reason that occasions of Historic Rome. As you’ll be able to think about, there are numerous conventional chickpea recipes on the island. Many of those are forms of soup like ‘minestra di ceci e finocchio’, made with chickpeas and wild fennel or ‘zuppa di ceci e verza’ (chickpea and savoy cabbage soup).  

Celery, onion, garlic and peperoncino finely chopped in white bowl. bolied chickpeas in white bowl. Halved cherry tomatoes in white bowl and tomato passata in white bowl.
Step 2 Put together the elements in accordance with the directions within the recipe card.

One other well-known Sardinian chickpea recipe is stewed chickpeas. The Sardinians additionally use chickpeas in a really previous candy Christmas recipe referred to as ‘cixirau’ during which they prepare dinner chickpeas with honey, sugar, Christmas spices like cinnamon and cloves and orange peel!

Chopped onion, garlic, celery and peperoncino in olive oil in Dutch oven.
Step 3 Sauté the chopped onion, garlic, celery and peperoncino in olive oil.

The town of Sassari in Sardinia is legendary for a kind of chickpea flour pancake referred to as ‘fainé alla sassarese’. This well-liked road meals was imported from Liguria centuries in the past by Genovese sailors who landed within the ports of northern Sardinia. Sardinians eat it both alone or flavored with onions and/or Sardinian sausage.

Halved cherry tomatoes added to the Dutch oven with the onions, garlic, celery and peperoncino.
Step 4 Add the halved cherry tomatoes to the pot and prepare dinner till they soften a bit.

What’s fregola?

Fregola (or fregula) is a small pasta typical of Sardinia. It’s historically made from balls of durum wheat semolina and water, labored by hand after which toasted within the oven. This pasta is uniquely Sardinian and never present in different Italian areas. It seems to be similar to couscous however with a barely nutty flavour.

Fregola from Sardinia made with khorasan wheat (kamut).

Fregola is usually referred to as Italian couscous or Sardinian couscous. The fregola I used for this recipe was made from khorasan wheat (kamut in Italian). It wasn’t toasted however simply dried. If you wish to be taught extra about this distinctive pasta, try my submit on Sardinian fregola.

Tomato passata in Dutch oven with other ingredients.
Step 5 Add the tomato passata to the pot, combine and stir over a low warmth.

Dried or canned chickpeas?

I positively choose utilizing dried chickpeas to canned. However, after all, this recipe will be made with each. Clearly, soaking dried chickpeas in a single day after which boiling them takes time. Nonetheless, I feel the result’s extra flavourful and more healthy. Dried chickpeas are extra economical they usually have a extra pure flavour.

Dried fregola added to the tomato sauce in the Dutch oven.
Step 6 Add a bit broth after which the fregola to the pot.

The 2 foremost variations between canned and dried chickpeas is firstly the latter have much less sodium. Secondly, the leftover liquid from cooked chickpeas is reasonably particular. Often known as aquafaba or chickpea water, it may be used as a vegan substitute in lots of recipes that decision for eggs or egg whites!

Fregola cooking in tomato sauce and broth in Dutch oven.
Step 7. Cook dinner the fregola like risotto, add a bit broth at a time and hold stirring.

Find out how to make Sardinian fregola with chickpeas.

This Sardinian fregola with chickpeas is a reasonably easy recipe. Other than the fregola and chickpeas, all you want is onions, garlic, celery, tomatoes, tomato passata, parsley, some vegtable broth and peperoncino (pink chili pepper). You possibly can depart the latter out when you don’t like spicy meals.

Chickpeas added to fregola, tomatoes and broth in Dutch oven.
Step 8 When the fregola is nearly cooked however nonetheless al dente, add the chickpeas.

As a result of the fregola pasta cooks within the soup it really absorbs numerous the liquid, so the tip outcome will be extra like a soupy risotto than a soup. Nonetheless, in order for you your Sardinian fregola with chickpeas to have extra liquid, simply add some additional broth or water.

Fregola with chickpeas (pasta e ceci) in Dutch oven with fresh parsley sprinkled on top.
Step 9. As soon as the chickpeas are heated by means of, add contemporary parsley. Your fregola with chickpeas is able to serve!

Fregola and chickpeas are a terrific combo.

Fregola and chickpeas are such a terrific mixture. Not solely are they scrumptious collectively however the similarity within the measurement and form of each provides this soup a superb texture and look. Nonetheless, when you don’t have fregola you need to use Israeli couscous as an alternative, it seems to be fairly comparable.

Sardinian fregola with chickpeas (pasta e ceci).

Ingredient additions and substitutions.

Spinach or kale go rather well on this Sardinian model of pasta e ceci, as do mushrooms or different legumes like pink or black beans. As an alternative of peperoncino (pink chilli pepper), use fennel or rosemary. Non vegetarians can even add pancetta.

Nonetheless you make this vegan Sardinian fregola with chickpeas, I’m positive you’ll agree with me that it’s basic Italian consolation meals!

When you do do this recipe, I’d love to listen to what you assume. Please, write a remark right here on the weblog or submit a touch upon the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your suggestions means quite a bit to me!

Buon Appetito!

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Sardinian fregola with chickpeas (pasta e ceci)

Sardinian fregola with chickpeas (pasta e ceci)


This warming vegan Sardinian fregola (fregula) with chickpeas is a nutritious and scrumptious barely spicy pasta soup recipe. Excellent Italian chilly climate consolation meals this Sardinian model of pasta e ceci is a one pot meal that is straightforward to make. Add spinach for extra fiber or pancetta/guanciale for a non-vegetarian model.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook dinner Time 40 minutes

Course Predominant Course, Facet Dish

Delicacies Italian, Mediterranean, Sardinia

Servings 4

Energy 624 kcal


  • 300 g fregola (10-11 oz) or Israeli couscous
  • 350 g chickpeas (12 oz) dried, soaked and boiled or canned
  • 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 500 g tomato passata (17floz)
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes minimize into halves
  • 3-4 tbsp additional virgin olive oil.
  • 500 ml vegetable inventory (16floz) cubes dissolved in water or selfmade inventory.
  • salt to style
  • floor black pepper to style
  • 1 handful contemporary parsley chopped
  • ½ contemporary peperoncino (pink chili pepper) chopped (non-obligatory) or pink chili flakes


If utilizing dried chickpeas

  • Put the dried chickpeas to soak in water in a single day. Within the morning, drain the chickpeas and canopy with contemporary water. Add salt and convey to a boil.  Decrease the warmth and simmer till prepared about 1 hour relying on the dimensions and age of the chickpeas. You can too prepare dinner the chickpeas within the stress cooker for about 20 minutes. As soon as cooked drain the chickpeas.

Make the soup

  • Chop the peeled onion, peeled garlic and celery finely and sauté collectively in a pan with additional virgin olive oil and the chopped peperoncino for about 5-7 minutes.

  • Add the halved cherry tomatoes and prepare dinner for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the tomato passata, season with salt and prepare dinner for 10 minutes.

  • Add a bit inventory and the fregola and prepare dinner for about 5 minutes, stirring to mix.

  • Cook dinner every thing collectively slowly for 15-20 minutes stirring on a regular basis and including the inventory little by little. (The identical approach as making risotto).

  • As soon as the fregola is nearly al dente, add the drained cooked chickpeas to the sauce. (or rinsed canned chickpeas). Cook dinner till the chickpeas are heated by means of. Sprinkle with chopped contemporary parsley.

  • Serve instantly with extra chopped parsley and a few crusty bread.


When you don’t have Sardinian fregola, you need to use Israeli couscous on this recipe. You possibly can add additionally spinach, kale or cooked mushrooms to this recipe. As an alternative of peperoncino, you need to use rosemary or wild fennel.
Leftovers will be stored sealed within the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat on the range high or within the microwave after including extra inventory or water.

Key phrase genuine Italian pasta recipe, chickpeas, fregola, fregula, Italian meals, Italian recipe, pasta soup, pasta with chickpeas

Extra Sardinian fregola recipes right here on The Pasta Undertaking.

  1. Fregola with clams
  2. Fregola with lamb

If you have an interest in studying learn how to make selfmade pasta and several types of gnocchi, try my store web page for some nice video on-line programs from my associates in Rome! Nothing beats studying to make pasta from Italians! Plus when you’re there why not order a duplicate of certainly one of my pasta recipe cookbooks or checkout some advisable pasta making instruments? They make nice prezzies for pasta lovers!

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