Sardinian Fregola with Chickpeas. – The Pasta Venture

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 excellent 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 may be very standard 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 grew to become standard, individuals didn’t actually perceive the dietary worth of the completely 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 components, chickpeas,tomatoes, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, inventory dice and fregola.

Chickpea recipes in Sardinia.

Individuals have cultivated chickpeas in Sardinia because the occasions of Historical Rome. As you possibly can think about, there are a lot of conventional chickpea recipes on the island. Many of those are varieties 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 components 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 known as ‘cixirau’ through 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.

Town of Sassari in Sardinia is legendary for a kind of chickpea flour pancake known as ‘fainé alla sassarese’. This standard 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 just a little.

What’s fregola?

Fregola (or fregula) is a small pasta typical of Sardinia. It’s historically product of 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 to be like 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 product of khorasan wheat (kamut in Italian). It wasn’t toasted however simply dried. If you wish to be taught 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 positively favor utilizing dried chickpeas to canned. However, after all, this recipe may 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 they usually have a extra pure flavour.

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

The 2 essential variations between canned and dried chickpeas is firstly the latter have much less sodium. Secondly, the leftover liquid from cooked chickpeas is slightly 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. Prepare dinner the fregola like risotto, add just a little broth at a time and hold stirring.

The right way to make Sardinian fregola with chickpeas.

This Sardinian fregola with chickpeas is a fairly 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’ll be able to depart 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 numerous the liquid, so the tip consequence may be extra like a soupy risotto than a soup. Nonetheless, if you’d like 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 via, add recent parsley. Your fregola with chickpeas is able to serve!

Fregola and chickpeas are an excellent combo.

Fregola and chickpeas are such an excellent mixture. Not solely are they scrumptious collectively however the similarity within the dimension and form of each provides this soup a superb texture and look. Nonetheless, should you don’t have fregola you should utilize Israeli couscous as an alternative, it appears to be like 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 certain you’ll agree with me that it’s basic Italian consolation meals!

In case you do do that 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 lots 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 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 Primary 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 reduce into halves
  • 3-4 tbsp further virgin olive oil.
  • 500 ml vegetable inventory (16floz) cubes dissolved in water or home made inventory.
  • salt to style
  • floor black pepper to style
  • 1 handful recent parsley chopped
  • ½ recent peperoncino (pink chili pepper) chopped (optionally available) 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 convey to a boil.  Decrease the warmth and simmer till prepared about 1 hour relying on the dimensions and age of the chickpeas. It’s also possible to 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 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 just a little inventory and the fregola and prepare dinner for about 5 minutes, stirring to mix.

  • Prepare dinner every little thing collectively slowly for 15-20 minutes stirring on a regular basis and including the inventory little by little. (The identical method 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 via. Sprinkle with chopped recent parsley.

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


In case you don’t have Sardinian fregola, you should utilize Israeli couscous on this recipe. You’ll be able to add additionally spinach, kale or cooked mushrooms to this recipe. As a substitute of peperoncino, you should utilize rosemary or wild fennel.
Leftovers may 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 Venture.

  1. Fregola with clams
  2. Fregola with lamb

If you have an interest in studying how one can make home made pasta and several types of gnocchi, take a look at my store web page for some nice video on-line programs from my mates in Rome! Nothing beats studying to make pasta from Italians! Plus when you’re there why not order a replica of one in every of my pasta recipe cookbooks or checkout some really useful pasta making instruments? They make nice prezzies for pasta lovers!

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