Pasta with Chickpeas



  • 7 oz dried chickpeas (or 14 oz can of cooked chickpeas), plus liquid from cooking
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or other herb
  • 1 fresh or dried chili, chopped (optional)
  • 7 oz can of peeled, chopped tomatoes
  • 7 oz short pasta such as ditalini, pasta mista or rombi
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Dried chickpeas: put in a bowl covered with plenty of cold water the night before and leave them to soak in the fridge. The next day, drain chickpeas and place in a saucepan, cover with fresh water, add a bay leaf and simmer for a couple of hours or until the chickpeas are soft. Add salt to taste at the end. Save the cooking liquid for the sauce. Canned chickpeas: skip to next step.
  2. In another saucepan, gently heat a smashed garlic clove (minced works too), a sprig of rosemary (minus the twigs, or remove them before adding the chickpeas) or other herb, and the chilli in a few tablespoons of olive oil. When garlic gets fragrant and softens, add tomato and let sizzle for a few minutes.
  3. Add a ladle-full of the chickpea liquid (if you’ve used canned, use the liquid in the can) and about ½ of the chickpeas. Puree the remaining chickpeas before adding to the saucepan.
  4. Add more of the chickpea liquid (or water or stock) to the sauce until it is quite watery, then add the pasta and cook until the al dente and the sauce has reduced. If you choose to use a long pasta, you may want to cook it separately in a pot of water then simply add it to the ready sauce.
  5. After pasta has cooked, season with salt and pepper. Ladle into shallow bowls, pour over extra virgin olive oil, more freshly ground pepper and then let it sit for a moment to cool. Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese is entirely optional.

Modified from:

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