How to cook Cicerchie

Cicerchie are chock full of vitamins, minerals like phosphorus and calcium, and fiber. It’s no surprise that Cicerchie used to be called “the meat of peasants”! In fact, they’re a wild variety of chickpea. They’re very similar both in taste and shape, but with a stronger personality. Cicerchie have an earthier, richer flavor.

We love Cicerchie for a twist on pasta e fagioli or in warm soups and stews alongside other beans + grains. They’re also delicious simply on a slice of toasted bread with an abundant drizzle of Umbrian, intense EVOO. We’re looking at you, Frantoio Gaudenzi Quinta Luna!


SERVES: 4 people
TIME: About 1 hour, plus soaking time (8 to 24 hours)


  • Soak Cicerchie in salted water for at least 8 hours and up to 24 at room temperature (leave enough room to allow them to double in volume).
  • Drain Cicerchie and place them in a pot. Fill with enough water to cover by at least 3 inches. Season with salt and add the aromatics (herbs + vegetables).  If you mind picking the aromatics out later, use a cheesecloth to make a sachet.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
  • Cook uncovered, skimming the surface of foam as needed.
  • Cicerchie will be cooked when they have an evenly tender texture, but still a bite (approximately 1 hour).
  • Once cooled, discard the aromatics, drain*, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve it on a slice of toasted bread, as a flavorful side dish, or add a little extra broth and serve as a soup.

*The cooking water of legumes is extremely rich in flavors and nutrients: it makes an outstanding broth or base for any recipe. Do not discard and store in the refrigerator or freezer for further use.