Lagane with chickpeas (lagane e ceci)

 Lagane with chickpeas.

lagane pasta with chickpeas


Lagane with chickpeas is one of the oldest known pasta recipes!

Here in Italy, there are many ancient recipes handed down from generation to generation which still bring the flavours of the past to today’s table. Lagane with chick peas is definitely one such dish. In fact, the Roman poet Horace wrote about a soup of lagana (lagane) and chickpeas which he ate in his home town, Venosa in Basilicata! That’s how old this recipe is! Although Horace would have eaten a version without tomatoes, which were unknown in Italy then.

(go straight to recipe)

Lagane is defined by many as the ancestor of today’s lasagna and believed to be the oldest form of pasta. It is almost always served fresh and homemade and is very simple to make as the ingredients are only flour and water. Lagane ribbons are like tagliatelle but thicker and wider, about 2-3 cm. (See my post on Lagane, if you would like to have a go at making it)

lagane pasta with chickpeas

 Apparently in some very old recipe books  lagane with chickpeas  is also called the plate of the Brigands (il piatto dei Briganti). It is said that in the second half of the nineteenth century, the forests of Monte Vulture, an extinct volcano in Basilicata, were invaded by brigands who loved to eat large quantities of this pasta!

Typical of Southern Italy, lagane with chickpeas is very popular in Basilicata, Calabria, Campania and Puglia. However, there are a number of variations of this dish in the South; with or without tomatoes, with or without bacon, with or without lard etc. Some recipes are more like a soup, others are drier.

lagane pasta with chickpeas

 Lagane with chickpeas is both nutritious and tasty!

In general, this is more a cold weather recipe as it’s pretty filling and warming, but even the simplest version can also be eaten as a main course or one course meal at any time of the year (Italians often eat pasta as a starter!). This dish provides adequate amounts of all nutrients and healthy proteins, thanks to the combination of legumes and cereals, and has an optimal amount of cholesterol-lowering fibre.

lagane pasta
homemade lagane pasta

In order for this dish to be really healthy, however, it is better to use dry chickpeas, as I did. This of course increases the time it takes to make this recipe.  Dry chickpeas need to be soaked for 12 hours and then cooked for one to one and a half hours. You can, of course,  use canned chickpeas to cook a faster more convenient  version, but you will also lose out on taste as pre-soaked and cooked dry chickpeas are far more flavourful. Canned chickpeas may also contain more sodium and unless you purchase canned chickpeas in cans labeled “BPA-free,” you’ll be exposed to bisphenol A, or BPA.

lagane pasta with chickpeas


Yes, I made the pasta by hand!

As I mentioned before, there are a number of different ways to cook lagane with chickpeas. This recipe comes from Basilicata and includes tomatoes. I also made the pasta by hand (much to my husband’s delight!!)  Lagane is usually made by hand in Southern Italy and very few pasta makers produce a dried version. Although I have seen some available online, I couldn’t find it in the supermarkets here in the North. I wanted to make this dish with the typical pasta used in Basilicata, so that’s why I decided to make it myself!

I am really glad I did! It was excellent!  But, if you prefer to use dried or ready made fresh pasta you can also use tagliatelle, pappardelle, lasagnette or cavatelli. Whichever pasta you use, you are sure to love this recipe. As a footnote, I had a lot of left over chickpea and tomato sauce, which we ate the next day as a salad (without pasta) It was really good! So, I got 2 dishes for the price and work of one!

Buon appetito!

(see the recipe on the next page. Just scroll down and click 2)

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  • Alisa Infanti
    April 30, 2018 11:55 pm

    What an interesting combination using chick peas with pasta. Your homemade noodles look amazing!

    • admin
      May 3, 2018 5:24 am

      Chickpeas and pasta are a very traditional combination here in Italy, which dates back to Roman times! I’m sure you’d love it Alisa!

  • Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness
    April 30, 2018 12:44 am

    I am obsessed with chickpeas!! And I know, I should probably make them from dry. But I always forget and want an easy, last minute chickpea dinner. During the summer, I will definitely cook them myself!

    • admin
      May 3, 2018 5:20 am

      Dry chickpeas are really tasty and when cooked go so well with pasta. This is a great dish for chickpea lovers. I hope you’ll try it Cathleen. All the best from Verona- Jacqui

  • Jere Cassidy
    April 26, 2018 4:43 pm

    This looks like an amazing recipe. Your noodles look absolutely delicious.

    • admin
      April 27, 2018 5:39 am

      Thank you so much Jere. Yes pasta and chickpeas is a delicious combination and homemade pasta makes it even better! Greetings from Verona! Jacqui

  • camila hurst
    April 26, 2018 1:53 pm

    making pasta from scratch is the way to go!!

    • admin
      April 27, 2018 5:40 am

      Thank you Camila, I love making pasta myself. Homemade pasta tastes so good! All the best from Italy Jacqui

  • Claire
    April 26, 2018 8:49 am

    This is such a delicious and simple pasta dish.
    The family loves it.
    Thank you.

    • admin
      April 27, 2018 5:42 am

      Grazie Claire, Yes, we love it too. Simple, tasty and healthy! Jacqui

  • Brian Jones
    April 26, 2018 8:03 am

    This looks wonderful so light but satisfying all at the same time… I love making pasta at home, we have ducks and their eggs make for the most wonderful egg pasta.

    • admin
      April 27, 2018 5:43 am

      Wow duck egg pasta sounds wonderful Brian! I’ve never tasted it even though traditionally here in Verona, bigoli pasta is was made with duck eggs! Jacqui

  • Arjhon
    April 26, 2018 7:52 am

    I remember the last time we visited Italian Restaurant here in our place. We had Lagane with chickpeas and we really liked it. So delicious and flavourful. It is one of the best pasta we tasted ever. Now I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    • admin
      April 27, 2018 5:46 am

      Thank you Arjhon, yes it’s a really delicious dish! I hope you do make it. It’s pretty simple and nothing beats homemade pasta! Yum! All the best from Verona. Jacqui

  • Nicole Tingwall
    April 25, 2018 4:47 pm

    I’ve never seen a pasta recipe with chickpeas, but i’ve recently fallen in love with chickpea butter! I love this so much! Can’t wait to try it!

    • admin
      April 27, 2018 5:48 am

      Pasta with chickpeas is so good Nicole. Very popular here in Italy, where it’s been eaten since Roman times! If you like chickpeas, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this dish. Greetings from Verona. Jacqui

  • Linda
    January 29, 2018 4:29 am

    Can you recommend a peperoncino substitute? I can find pickled, but not fresh or dried.peperoncino.
    Thank you.

    • admin
      January 29, 2018 10:01 am

      Hi Linda, peperoncini literally means chili pepper or spicy capsicum annuum. In Italy we use mostly red ones, but green are also used.The pepper needs to be moderately spicy but not outrageously hot. You may also use cayenne peppers which are practically the same as the Italian peperoncino. Cayenne pepper can be bought fresh, dried or as a powder in most places. Italian peperoncino can be bought online from different companies including in different forms (dried, flakes, powder etc). I wouldn’t use preserved in vinegar but preserved in oil can be used for most recipes too. The best Italian ones come from Calabria so if you find them online go for those. Do let me know if you succeed in finding them. Best regards from Verona!

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