To be completed the night before cooking: Place the beans in a large pot and cover with cold water. Leave to soak overnight which will reduce the cooking time of the beans.
The next day, drain the beans and rinse well under cold running water. Set aside.
To make the ‘soffritto’ (sautéed base flavouring), heat the olive oil in a large pressure cooker over medium heat (alternatively, use a large stockpot). Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, bay leaves and rosemary. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until the onion is soft.
Stir the chickpeas and Italian passata into the soffritto. Pour the cold water into the pressure cooker (or stockpot). Secure lid and bring to high pressure (over medium heat). Reduce heat to low, and cook for 40 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender (longer if not using a pressure cooker). Carefully release the pressure – referring to pressure cooker instructions. Remove the lid of the pressure cooker.
Transfer half of the cooked chickpeas (without liquid) to a bowl and set aside. Once again secure lid of pressure cooker. Cook the remaining chickpeas and vegetables for a further 1 hour and 30 minutes (longer if not using a pressure cooker). Once again carefully release the pressure, then remove lid. The chickpea liquid should be lovely and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the ditalini pasta, referring to the cooking time specified in pasta packet instructions. Stir an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil into the pasta ‘e ceci’ (with chickpeas).
To serve, ladle hot pasta e ceci among serving bowls. Top with a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano – buon appetito.
300g chickpeas |2 tablespoons (40ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve|½ onion, finely chopped|2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped|1 large stalk celery, finely chopped|2 bay leaves|1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped|200g Italian passata|3 litres water|200g ditalini pasta|Parmigiano Reggiano to serve|Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper