Living La Bella Vita

One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to live more wholeheartedly. I wasn’t really sure how to go about that so I decided to turn to the most wholehearted living place I could think of– Italy.

Living the good life, or la bella vita is a thing. In an essence it means to appreciate beauty, people, home, and flavors. As apart of my good life plan I am cooking two new Italian recipes a month.

Italian Soup Recipe

I started with soup because, you know, it’s winter in the midwest. And I stuck it in a bread bowl because I’d kind of forgotten about bread bowls. Seriously, you forgot about them too, right? They are still amazing by the way. Let’s bring the bread bowl back, people.


It’s a chickpea and pasta soup which at first I was like, “chickpea?” But that sturdy, cute bean should never be underestimated. If you’re a hearty broth, ham and beans fan then this vegetarian dish perfect for your cozy winter soul.

Pasta e Ceci from Jamie’s Italy

Serves 4


1 small onion, chopped

1 stick of celery, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

2 14-oz cans of chickpeas

3 1/2 oz small shell pasta

2 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

sea salt, pepper, and parsley to taste

teaspoon of dried basil and oregano combined

sprig of fresh rosemary and a handful of fresh basil


Cook pasta according to package instructions and set aside.

Add the chopped onion, celery, fresh rosemary, and garlic to a saucepan with the olive oil. Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes with lid on to soften the vegetables. We aren’t looking to brown them so give them the occasional stir.

Drain the chickpeas and rinse them in cold water. When the veg is soft, add the chickpeas to the pan then pour in the stock. Cook on a low simmer for 30 minutes then remove half the beans with a slotted spoon and set them aside in a bowl.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender or food processor.

Add reserved chickpeas and pasta to the blended beans and season with salt, pepper, parsley and dried herbs. Simmer gently until chickpeas are tender. Add some boiling water if the soup is too thick—but if you want it hardy, go for it!

Sprinkle in torn fresh basil and add to soup bowls.