Pasta Ceci (pronounced “chay gee”) is really one of the most simple, yet comforting dishes in my arsenal. Instead of mashed potatoes or mac & cheese, this is my family’s go-to comfort food.
My mom always told me that this was a kind of peasant’s sauce. The story goes that in Italy, all of the leftover pasta shapes accumulated during the week are cooked together and tossed with the ceci for a nice, simple meal, or a warm-up for another main dish. I almost always use a full pound of pasta for my dishes, meaning that I don’t have the fun menagerie of shapes that is traditionally required. Instead, I usually use shells, farfalle or campanelle. Again, this is probably not a good recipe for long noodles.
Without the chickpeas, this can also be considered a basic Italian pasta sauce. Some of the old-school folks will simply saute the garlic in the oil, toss with pasta and throw a little bit of Parmesan over it.
I always need at least that one other ingredient (try broccoli, mushrooms or other things) to keep my taste buds happy.