Chickpea and Pasta Soup / Zuppa di Ceci e Pasta alla Mamma

Chickpeas and tiny soup macaroni called ditalini served steaming hot in a bowl with a blanket of grated cheese on top, takes me right back to childhood. This was definitely considered a poor dish and a good way to feed the family without breaking the budget. Still is.



  • 2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound diced salami with black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper paste or 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup canned whole plum tomatoes
  • 3 cups hot chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked ditalini
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Pecorino cheese for sprinkling on top (optional)
  • Ingredients


  1. Heat the oil in a two quart sauce pan over medium heat and stir in the salami, Cook until the mixture is fragrant and the salami starts to render its fat. Stir in the celery and continue cooking until the celery softens. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook one minute longer. Stir in the oregano. Squeeze the tomatoes into the pan and add the chicken broth.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes Stir in the ditalini and chickpeas. Cook for a few minutes just until the soup is hot. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve in soup bowls. Pass cheese to sprinkle.

This recipe was featured on Season 20 - Episode 2023.

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Julia Kenny

This is the same recipe my mom used when I was a girl and I have been making it for my family ever since. We love it. Thanks for taking me back to the warm kitchen on a wintery day!!!!

Karen Maida

My paternal grandparents were from Sicily, and my grandmother made food like this all the time. It’s good Italian comfort food – healthy and nutritious. Your show is great. It reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen. Thanks, Mary Ann!

Rosina Harlem

Peasant dishes are always great. My 13 yr old grandson loves to come and make dishes like these…helps cook and grates the cheese..but mostly eats bowls and bowls!!! Love it.


Thank you for these dishes without meat but still good protein without the cholesterol…..delish!!

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