Sardinian Fregola with Chickpeas. – The Pasta Challenge

This warming Sardinian fregola with chickpeas is a nutritious and scrumptious barely spicy vegetarian/vegan pasta soup recipe from Sardinia. Generally 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 in style 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 all the time discovered it intriguing that many conventional Italian recipes are so nutritious. Again within the day when dishes like pasta with chickpeas turned in style, folks didn’t actually perceive the dietary worth of the totally different meals they ate! They simply 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.

Folks have cultivated chickpeas in Sardinia for the reason that occasions of Historical Rome. As you possibly can think about, there are various 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 based on the directions within the recipe card.

One other well-known Sardinian chickpea recipe is stewed chickpeas. The Sardinians additionally use chickpeas in a really outdated candy Christmas recipe known as ‘cixirau’ during which they prepare dinner chickpeas with honey, sugar, Christmas spices like cinnamon and cloves and orange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 known for a sort of chickpea flour pancake known as ‘fainé alla sassarese’. This in style avenue 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 little bit.

What’s fregola?

Fregola (or fregula) is a small pasta typical of Sardinia. It’s historically fabricated 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 appears similar to couscous however with a barely nutty flavour.

Fregola from Sardinia made with khorasan wheat (kamut).

Fregola is commonly known as Italian couscous or Sardinian couscous. The fregola I used for this recipe was fabricated from khorasan wheat (kamut in Italian). It wasn’t toasted however simply dried. If you wish to study extra about this distinctive pasta, take a look at my publish 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 undoubtedly want utilizing dried chickpeas to canned. However, in fact, this recipe might be made with each. Clearly, soaking dried chickpeas in a single day after which boiling them takes time. Nonetheless, I believe the result’s extra flavourful and more healthy. Dried chickpeas are extra economical and so they have a extra pure flavour.

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

The 2 fundamental variations between canned and dried chickpeas is firstly the latter have much less sodium. Secondly, the leftover liquid from cooked chickpeas is somewhat particular. Generally 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. Prepare dinner the fregola like risotto, add a little bit broth at a time and maintain stirring.

Easy methods 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 go away the latter out should you don’t like spicy meals.

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

As a result of the fregola pasta cooks within the soup it truly absorbs quite a lot of the liquid, so the tip end result might be extra like a soupy risotto than a soup. Nonetheless, if you need your Sardinian fregola with chickpeas to have extra liquid, simply add some further 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, add recent 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 dimension and form of each offers this soup a superb texture and look. Nonetheless, should you don’t have fregola you should utilize Israeli couscous as an alternative, it appears fairly related.

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 a substitute of peperoncino (pink chilli pepper), use fennel or rosemary. Non vegetarians also can 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!

If you happen to do do this recipe, I’d love to listen to what you suppose. Please, write a remark right here on the weblog or publish 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. Good Italian chilly climate consolation meals this Sardinian model of pasta e ceci is a one pot meal that is simple to make. Add spinach for extra fiber or pancetta/guanciale for a non-vegetarian model.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 40 minutes

Course Major Course, Aspect 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 lower into halves
  • 3-4 tbsp further virgin olive oil.
  • 500 ml vegetable inventory (16floz) cubes dissolved in water or do-it-yourself inventory.
  • salt to style
  • floor black pepper to style
  • 1 handful recent parsley chopped
  • ½ recent peperoncino (pink chili pepper) chopped (elective) 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 recent water. Add salt and produce to a boil.  Decrease the warmth and simmer till prepared about 1 hour relying on the scale and age of the chickpeas. You too can prepare dinner the chickpeas within the strain 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 further 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 little bit inventory and the fregola and prepare dinner for about 5 minutes, stirring to mix.

  • Prepare dinner every part 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). Prepare dinner till the chickpeas are heated by. Sprinkle with chopped recent parsley.

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


If you happen to don’t have Sardinian fregola, you should utilize Israeli couscous on this recipe. You possibly can add additionally spinach, kale or cooked mushrooms to this recipe. As a substitute of peperoncino, you should utilize rosemary or wild fennel.
Leftovers might be stored sealed within the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat on the range prime 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 Challenge.

  1. Fregola with clams
  2. Fregola with lamb

If you have an interest in studying methods to make do-it-yourself pasta and various kinds of gnocchi, take a look at my store web page for some nice video on-line programs from my buddies in Rome! Nothing beats studying to make pasta from Italians! Plus whilst you’re there why not order a replica of considered one of my pasta recipe cookbooks or checkout some advisable pasta making instruments? They make nice prezzies for pasta lovers!

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