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Cicerchia Beans

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Cicerchia Beans

Among the classic legumes that help to bring to the table a first course with an irresistible taste and flavor, Cicerchia beans occupy a place of honor, even if originally they were part of the poor dishes of the peasant cuisine that used them above all in the periods of drought. Cicerchia beans are a type of lentil and beans, originally from the Mediterranean basin. Their use is already described in ancient recipes for soups and stews. In the past, Cicerchia beans were present in every vegetable garden, but then it was drastically reduced. In the ancient period, they were mainly dedicated to the daily needs of the farmers. Today Cicerchia beans can found dried, peeled and canned. 

Properties of Cicerchia beans

Cicerchia beans are legumes particularly rich in protein. Cicerchia beans grown in Italy, with particular attention to the production that takes place in Puglia, Umbria, Lazio, Marche, and Molise, have obtained the recognition of traditional Italian agri-food product by the Ministry of agricultural, food and forestry policies. Today it is a rather rare food outside the regions that traditionally preserve it.This food has long been part of the Italian peasant tradition and nutrition. Cicerchia beans are one of the oldest vegetables. It is a particular legume that can be consumed from time to time without problems, in any season. 

Like all legumes, Cicerchia beans have interesting nutritional characteristics, both for the high protein content and starch with low-fat content. They contain B vitamins, proteins, mineral salts, fibers, and polyphenols. They are a source of calcium and phosphorus. Alone or combined with other legumes, it is excellent for soups or soups. It needs soaking (between 8 and 12 hours). It is boiled and then seasoned with garlic, peppers, and parsley but it can also be served with cod or soup with tomato. The flavor of Cicerchia beans is very similar to that of the chickpeas, but even more delicate than that of the latter, and makes them an easily usable food in the kitchen: they can in fact be eaten cold and natural, but also to enrich summer salads, for make tasty soups and purees, and even as a condiment for pasta.

How to cook dried Cicerchia beans

To cook dried Cicerchia beans , you will have to arm yourself with patience because the soaking times are very long, they even exceed those necessary to prepare the chickpeas for cooking. Dried Cicerchia beans recall the beans in shape and color: they are, in fact, the seeds of a pod that is shelled. Even the flavor approaches that of fava beans and binds to that of peas, but they are really tasty legumes that are worth mentioning among the foods to be consumed often. When you think of Cicerchia beans, you go back with your memory to a simple cuisine, you think of a poor, albeit very tasty dish, a preparation that the peasants ate once back from the fields, but today Cicerchia beans, just like chickpeas and beans, become the protagonists of succulent and delicious dishes, enrich soups and soups, accompany clams or mussels in delicious dishes to be served, accompanied with almond slices, on special occasions and give a delicate flavor to main courses if they are used as a side dish. It is true, the soaking and cooking times are not very short, but if you take advantage and prepare them in advance, you can have them ready for a good lunch or family dinner because they can be cooked as a soup, combined with other legumes, as a side dish for a good second and as a condiment for a strictly homemade pasta.

The long soaking times are necessary to eliminate the patina that covers the seeds and has a bitter taste. To cook dried Cicerchia beans you have to put them in a large bowl, cover them with abundant warm salty water and leave them to soak for at least 24 hours. You could also add baking soda but be careful not to overdo it. Once the necessary time has elapsed, you must rinse them under running water and boil them for a long time, at least 2 hours, in unsalted water, together with sage and rosemary.

Main dishes to be prepared with Cicerchia beans

Cicerchia beans are a very tasty and particularly versatile legume in the kitchen. Among the best-known dishes made with this legume, there are the sagne with cicerchie, widespread especially in Molise: it is a particular pasta, very similar to the tagliatelle, which is seasoned precisely with cream of Cicerchia beans, to achieve which it is necessary to cook this legume together with chili pepper and lard. In Apulian cuisine, Cicerchia beans are used to prepare a tasty soup. Here Cicerchia beans are cooked in a pot together with fresh onion, parsley, tomato, and garlic. This is mostly found in Central Italy and especially in Tuscany.

In Abruzzo, the Cicerchia beans constitute the main ingredient for the making of the fracchiata, a polenta prepared precisely with the flour obtained from these legumes, and which is generally accompanied by a side dish of chili, garlic, and Cicerchia beans.

In addition to the typical dishes of the Italian tradition, Cicerchia beans can be enjoyed in a thousand other ways: in winter, for example, you can prepare a hot soup of Cicerchia. This is a very easy dish to make: just cook your Cicerchia beans in a pan together with potatoes, carrots and celery cut into small pieces, a few cloves of white onion and garlic, extra virgin olive oil and some lard.

Cicerchia beans are also perfect as a condiment for pasta, both leaving it natural and using it as the main ingredient to prepare sauces and creams: among the best combinations, you can do to take advantage of the flavor of this delicious legume is with tuna and mushrooms, especially the cardoncello mushroom, typical of the Murgia. 

Finally, Cicerchia beans are also ideal for flavoring the classic summer salads: you can try the salad of Cicerchia beans and potatoes, and the rustic salad, which you can easily make by mixing together two ounces of Cicerchia beans, two ounces of cheese brie, and a half of mushrooms in oil, carrots, and potatoes cut into small pieces, together with a few spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil.

Members of the chickpea family, cicerchia beans are low in fat and high in iron. Tiny and irregular in shape and ranging in color from gray to brown, these beans look like miniature fava beans.

Cicerchia beans date back to ancient Rome and are cultivated primarily in Puglia and Umbria, but may also come from parts of Spain.

Suggestions: They have a delicate flavor and tender skin and make a great accompaniment to game and can be served in a puree with bitter greens.

2.2 pound (1 kilogram)

Ingredients: Cicerchia, raw - May contain traces of gluten, soy and sesame

Packaging: Plastic Wrap

Flavor: Earthy
Color: Beige

Product of Italy


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Cicerchia Beans