When there’s not much in the fridge and you have chickpeas, pasta and a jar of tomatoes handy in the pantry, you can have Pasta with Chickpeas in Tomato Sauce ready in 30 minutes. Delicious, comforting and healthy!
Pasta with chickpeas or pasta e ceci is an iconic Roman dish. However there are so many variations of this dish found all over Italy.
I had originally planned on making the more classic almost soup like version of this dish. But my son hijacked those plans and insisted on this version instead. He was right to do so!
His version of pasta with chickpeas is not a soup at all, rather it is a pastasciutta dish. This translates as dry pasta and what Italians typically refer to a pasta dish served with some type of sauce.
You’ll notice his addition of paprika in the recipe which is not something I would have thought of. The result is a satisfying, flavorful and comforting plate of pasta that the whole family enjoyed. It was so filling that we didn’t need a second course to go with it!
Most of the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe are basic pantry staples that most of us have on hand:
- canned chickpeas
- canned or bottled tomato passata (tomato purée)
- olive oil
Other than these ingredients, I added a handful of chopped parsley right before serving to add a touch of freshness. And of course lots of freshly grated Parmigiano cheese for serving!
Why is this the perfect vegetarian family meal?
- It’s delicious and healthy ’cause chickpeas have lots of protein and fiber!
- You need very few ingredients to make it.
- It’s ready in 30 minutes.
- And it’s perfect whether for lunch or dinner.
Can I use dry chickpeas to make this dish?
It’s easy to make this recipe at the last minute as long as you have a can of chickpeas around. But if you have dry chickpeas in your pantry and plan ahead you most definitely can use those instead.
Remember to soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of water. The following day, drain and rinse the chickpeas, cover with water and simmer for about 2 hours or until they are tender. I also like to add a couple of bay leaves to the cooking water for a bit of flavor. Now you’re ready to make Pasta and Chickpeas!
What type of pasta should I serve with this dish?
Any medium length pasta will do. I used rigatoni for mine but other great choices include: penne rigate; fusilli; cavatelli. I especially love pasta rigata (with ridges) to help the sauce adhere to the pasta!
The following are step by step images with instructions to guide you through this recipe. Please scroll to the end of this post for the detailed, printable recipe card.
Step by Step Instructions:
In a large sauce pan heat olive oil, add paprika and cook stirring until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Add a diced onion and sauté until soft. Toss in minced garlic and cook a minute longer.
Add chickpeas and stir to coat in the onion-garlic mixture. Pour in tomato passata, 3/4 cup of water or chicken stock and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.Ten minutes before the sauce is ready, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain and add to the chickpea tomato sauce. Stir to coat. Add a ladle or two of pasta cooking water to thin out the sauce as needed. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Drizzle lightly with olive oil, add a sprinkle of fresh parsley (optional) and serve with plenty of grated Parmigiano cheese.
Tips and suggestions:
- Replace canned chickpeas with dry chickpeas which have been soaked overnight and boiled the following day until tender. Use about 3 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas to replace a can.
- Any variety of medium length pasta shapes work well in this recipe including: rigatoni; penne; fusilli; or cavatelli.
- Leftovers keep well stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you try out this delicious dish, please let me know how much you’ve enjoyed it by rating it in the recipe card below. Feel free to Pin it for later. Buon appetito!
Other quick and easy pasta dishes for you to enjoy:
- Pasta with Broccoli
- Pasta with Zucchini and Mushrooms
- Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower
- Pasta alla Norma
- Pasta with Oven Fried Zucchini
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 32 oz canned chickpeas (3 1/2 cups) drained and rinsed
- 2 cups tomato passata (tomato purée)
- 3/4 cups water can be replaced with vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 250 grams pasta about 1/2 lb, any medium length pasta such as penne, rigatoni, fusilli, cavatelli
- salt and pepper to taste
- handful fresh chopped parsley
- freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
- In a large sauce pan heat olive oil, stir in paprika and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add onion and sauté until soft. Toss in minced garlic and cook a minute longer.
- Add chickpeas and stir to coat in the onion-garlic mixture. Pour in the tomato passata, water or stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Ten minutes before the sauce is ready, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente.
- Drain and add to the chickpea tomato sauce. Stir to coat in the sauce. Add a ladle or two of pasta cooking water to thin out the sauce, as needed. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
- Drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley (optional) and serve with plenty of grated Parmigiano cheese.
- Replace canned chickpeas with dry chickpeas which have been soaked overnight and boiled the following day until tender. Use about 3 12 cups of cooked chickpeas to replace a can.
- Any variety of medium length pasta shapes work well in this recipe including: rigatoni; penne; fusilli; cavatelli.
- Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Please note that the nutritional information provided may vary according to exact portion size and ingredients used.