Recipes

quick pasta and chickpeas

Pasta e ceci (pasta and chickpeas) is one of Rome’s most iconic dishes, the only dish so essential that it shows up on both Tuesdays and Fridays on the informal meal calendar.* And while there are no two matching ways to make it (a fine excuse to spend as many weeks in Rome as it takes to try them all, if you ask me), the rough guiding recipe principles are fairly consistent: a sautéed base of garlic, sometimes onion, celery and carrot too, and seasonings to which chickpeas, water or chickpea cooking broth, and pasta are added. Some are a more brothy like soup, some blend some chickpeas for a thicker base, some more herby with rosemary or sage, some are light and others are heavy on tomatoes. And then then came Victoria Granof’s version that took the internet by storm over the last couple years as word of it trickled out from her Chickpeas cookbook (which goes so far beyond hummus in ways that only a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef and famous food stylist would think of) in the lovely Short Stack single ingredient cookbook series.


what you'll needwhat you'll need

I bet you think this means it will be complicated. It is, in fact, the opposite. Granof’s version has 5 ingredients, I bet every single one is in your pantry right now, and takes 20 minutes, which is why there’s no making it just once. We all need more 20-minute dinner magic in our lives, so it’s not surprising that it’s already made the web rounds from Food52 to Dinner: A Love Story.

add tomato pasteadd the rest

It could also be argued that there’s little I can add to it: why mess with perfection? But I found two little things along the way: The first is that the first time I decided I wanted to make it (you know, 5 minutes after reading about it; this recipe has that effect on people) I discovered that I didn’t have any small pasta around except for little rings familiar to anyone who ate or wish they got to eat (me!) Spaghetti-Os growing up, the little Os are an official pasta shape called annellini. Did I originally buy them with vague aspirations of reverse engineering the canned stuff? You betcha. But after I saw how quickly my children gobbled this similar-looking dish up (and it’s so great in a thermos for lunch too, so go ahead and double it), I am glad I hadn’t gotten to it yet.

a-simmeringa little extra

The second thing is a little extra finish that I do when I have a minute or two more to spare. Rather than just drizzling olive oil on top, as is traditional, I love to heat it with some additional chopped garlic, minced rosemary leaves, salt and pepper flakes for a minute for a nutty, flavorful, slightly crispy, and dramatically sizzling finish, and alternative to the usual parmesan or pecorino, which is not unwelcome here, just not nearly as dynamic.

* Please note: 80% of what I know about Roman cooking, and particularly pasta e ceci, I’ve learned from the fantastic Rachel Roddy; please do not miss her Guardian column, blog, or books but be warned you might buy tickets to Rome five minutes later, which is essentially what we did in 2013. (The other 10% is from non-Roddy Roman food writers and the remaining 10% was gleaned on that vacation.)

quick pasta con ceci

The Smitten Kitchen Every Day Fall 2017 Book TourHave you gotten to check out the book tour for Smitten Kitchen Every Day? It begins the day the book comes out — October 24th — and I’m so excited. I hope your town is on it. I hope this means we finally get to meet. And if you’re in Minneapolis, Nashville, Denver, Atlanta or Montreal… we should have more good news soon (eee!).

Quick Pasta and Chickpeas / Pasta e Ceci


Want to amp it up a little? Use the broth from freshly cooked chickpeas instead of water (although I promise it won’t be one-note if you only use water because this recipe is magic). You could also add a parmesan rind to the cooking liquid (although this would negate the vegan/vegetarian label). I’ve written it below with the finishing oil the way I like it, but I approach this by holding back a little bit of the recommended garlic and oil and saving it for the end. Should you want to make it as Granof originally wrote it, you’ll want 3 cloves of garlic and 4 tablespoons of oil to begin; the dish is finished with additional olive oil only.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (from one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 grams) uncooked ditalini pasta (or another small shape; I use annelini)
  • 2 cups (475 ml) boiling water
  • To finish
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (estimate 1 per serving)
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • Salt and red pepper flakes

In a medium-large heavy-bottomed pot or deep saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until it shimmers. Add 2 smashed cloves of garlic and cook, stirring until it becomes lightly, barely browned but very fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, and pepper and cook them with the garlic for 30 seconds or so. Add the chickpeas, pasta, and boiling water. Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, lower the heat, and simmer until the pasta is cooked and a lot of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning and ladle into bowls.

Make finishing oil: Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauce- or frying pan over medium-low heat with remaining clove of garlic, rosemary, a pinch or two of salt and pepper flakes, until sizzling; pull it off the heat as soon as the garlic is going to start taking on color. Drizzle this over bowls of pasta e ceci and eat it right away.


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163 comments on quick pasta and chickpeas

  1. waywardbloggers

    Oh man, my first thought was *grown-up Spaghetti-os?! YESSS* but this recipe looks good as well.

    (But please don’t let that deter you from trying to replicate my memories of that childhood goodness in a can. I tried it again as an adult and it wasn’t as good as I remembered)

  2. superreddog

    This looks wonderful! And perfect for my budding (and always hungry) 15 year old cook. I’ve only got slightly largely pasta in the house, so here’s hoping it works with that too.

    1. Amy

      I’ve been making this since Food52 put this recipe online, and honestly, I prefer it with (what Goya labels as) “small white beans”. So I’m sure it would be good with cannelini too.

    2. Jess

      Aside from that making it pasta e fagioli instead of pasta e ceci, I don’t see why cannelini wouldn’t be a great substitute! In fact, I’m tempted to go that route as I’m really only a fan of chickpeas when I get in a certain mood.

      1. I agree. Canellini beans are a bit creamier which I think might work even better here!
        Next time I’m going to try it with fresh sage instead of rosemary to see what happens.

  3. I really appreciate that this is the first pasta e ceci recipe I’ve seen that doesn’t use anchovies. I’ve tried in the past and omitting the anchovies there was always something missing for a well-rounded flavour, they always came out bland. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to give it another try!

    1. deb

      It should keep fine and leftovers should freeze, my only concern is that the pasta might get mushy when reheated. And you might need some extra liquid to loosen it if the pasta and/or chickpeas absorb as they sit.

  4. Nicholle

    Oh, a twist to our usual pasta e fagioli (or as my fellow Jersey Italians would, “patsa fazool”)! Thanks for what is sure to be another Meatless Friday staple.

  5. Grey

    My first thought when I saw the title was “I hope she gives a nod to Rachel Roddy.”

    My second thought was “I should make this today.”

  6. laurie lisovich

    we made this tonight. delicious! we added a few spoons of harissa for a bit of spice, touch of extra tomato paste, plus finely chopped 2 carrots and celery. will definitely make it again!

  7. Hm! My family is from the vicinity of Salerno, and this is very similar to our pasta e fagioli…replacing the chickpeas with roman or cannellini beans and using a short tube/shell shape (or broken up spaghetti in a pinch), I always love mine more on the soupy side. A great recipe to stretch out some leftover tomato sauce that isn’t enough on its own.

    Our version of pasta with chickpeas is just chickpeas with garlic and crushed red pepper, so it’s a dry “sauce”.

    1. roxlet

      My mother’s family was from near Salerno as well, and my mother’s version was made with tomato juice as opposed to tomato paste, as I mention downthread.

  8. Holly

    I have to know if you took the time to remove the skins from the chickpeas for this. I agree it turns homemade hummus from good to transcendent, but am curious if they matter in this dish (can you tell I want to be lazy?).

  9. I love cooking with chickpeas and sadly most recipes call for them to be tossed into a cold dish. I have a traditional simple Spanish tapas recipe with sauteed chickpeas, onions and tomatoes. I love the way they come out so creamy when cooked. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Yes! I’ve been obsessed with Granoff’s recipe for about six months now, and sometimes was up to making it nearly once a week. It truly is a magic trick — turning water into so much depth of flavor. Your post inspired me to run and make it for lunch today, with your garlic / chile / rosemary addition. I was worried the rosemary would be overpowering but it was really very subtle. That said, for me, part of the magic of this is the one-pot-ness, so in the future I might just add a sprig of rosemary to the pot at the beginning and call it a day! :-)

  11. clare

    This is one of my favorite recipes of all time. Moosewood has a recipe that I learned to make when just out of college and subsiding on pasta and too poor to buy meat. Insanely delicious and as a matter of fact, I am making this for an Italian themed cooking club this Sunday….I will have to try the oil drizzle!!!

    1. lp

      I was thinking about adding spinach. Usually I pour the hot pasta dish onto fresh spinach and let it wilt; would that work here? Or is better to cook it with the rest?

  12. Melissa

    Just wondering if your little ones liked this? I’m always looking for dishes that look yummy and that the little humans in my life will also eat. Thank you. LOVE you!

      1. How did you have leftovers???I doubled the recipe to feed 5 and was sure lunches would be taken care of. No such luck. Everyone loved it and sopped
        Up the sauce with bread. (2 kids – they loved it!)

  13. Francoise

    I love this dish! I make a Cook’s Illustrated version that my family and I all love. Will definitely be trying this version. Congrats on the book!!

  14. Abs

    Rachel Roddy’s version of this recipe is the dish we make most often in our house, to the point that we don’t even use the recipe anymore.

    Two things that we have picked up:

    1) If you have one of those little cans of tomato paste, you can really just use the whole can and it will be very nice and you won’t have to deal with part of a can hanging around.
    2) The parmesan rind MAKES IT. We have a bunch in the freezer. My husband has taken to blending part of it up with the chickpeas (Rachel’s recipe has you puree some of them, which makes the texture lovely). Seriously, the rind is magic.

    I’ll definitely try the finishing oil next time we make this. Which will probably be within a week.

  15. mahri

    This sounds simple and delicious… but since my pantry has fish sauce and sesame oil, I’m tempted to add a dash of the former and finish with the latter.

    sorry for the missing word!

  16. Anupama

    Hi, I was craving creamy pasta once but the only thing I could find at home was some hummus. So, I mixed it in. Delish! Do you know if there is an authentic dish like this?

    1. june2

      I don’t know but I used to stir fire-roasted baba ganoush into pasta all the time – it is similar to hummus and also delicious, try it!

    2. deb

      Not hummus per se but it’s not uncommon to blend some of the chickpea/soupy sauce to make it smooth and thicken it more. It’s all personal preference.

  17. erineaguayo

    I read about this at 3 p.m., and had dinner ready, from dried chickpeas, by 7. This is a miracle food. Shaved some parmesan on top, toasted some bread to dip, the end. I think our winter table will be seeing more of this… Forgot to make the salad; no one missed it. I often make a version of this out of Jamie Oliver’s Italian cookbook, which has a base of long-cooked onion and celery and rosemary then ditalini and chickpeas–no tomatoes. I like the Spaghetti-O nature of this more. Thanks for sharing!

      1. If you get them out of the can, as described, they’re cooked. You can put them into the recipe. It’s the pasta that needs cooking, and only for the 15-20 min stated.

        If you want to use chickpeas bought dry, they take a long time to cook. Usual procedure is to soak overnight, and then they take forever, 3 hours?, I don’t remember. I’ve been doing them in a pressure cooker, where they take some 45 minutes. (I’m a bit phobic about pressure cookers, I’m always waiting for them to explode, so I do Not enjoy this part!)

        Honestly, just buy the can. If Deb can do it, so can we! :D

          1. deb

            I have a recent post just about cooking dreamy chickpeas, which you can use as a guide. I agree it can be done easily in a pressure cooker. I just got an InstantPot and did a black bean soup in it from dried beans last night in 30, nothing scary about it because of all of the safety mechanisms; chickpeas might need 40 to 45, less if they were pre-soaked.

            1. I’ve been eyeing the InstantPot (and variants) for the last month. I am so skeptical of the all-in-one it-is-so-magic so-much-better-than-a-slow-cooker that I hesitate and yet I have stared at shiny Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cookers for so long that I know I want/need a make dinner for family easy thingamajig. So what are your thoughts? Also, I normally dislike the slow cooker because I feel like flavor is often the same (or that it takes flavor out) unless you babysit the thing…and then what is the point. Okay, there are some exceptions to that, but they are rare. Anyway, is the Instant Pot worth it, Deb? Also, which one? Thanks as always!

      2. june2

        I’ve discovered that cooking canned garbanzo’s in water to cover until they are even more tender brings every dish I use them in to the next level. An extra step but highly recommended!

  18. Karen Farber

    Ahhh this made me both really hungry and makes me want to plan a trip back to Rome! I think I’ll start by trying this recipe next week :) Soooo good!

  19. YD

    Thanks for doing another vegan/veg recipe :) Made this tonight and it turned out wonderfully! So easy to make with the ingredients on hand.

    1. deb

      Well, I just played around with mine last night for the first time so I am very very much not an expert but my hunch is that it would take longer than it does on the stove.

      1. Lindsay S

        If you started by adding boiling water, I really doubt it. The standard pasta cooking rule in the IP is to cook at high pressure for 1/2 the amount of time specified on the package, so after sautéing the garlic in the pot and adding the other ingredients I’d likely just turn it on manual for 4 minutes. A 10 minute natural pressure release before doing a quick release for the rest and you’d be done. It might not save any time, but except the first 5 minutes or so would be completely unattended so you could be playing with your cutie urchins or having a glass of wine or whatever while it was cooking. :)

  20. Claudia

    This was a Pasta Dream come true. I ended up tripling the recipe as I have 5 little ones, and everyone inhaled it in an instant. The only change I made was to use parsley, as I just don’t care for rosemary. This recipe will be a regular on our lunch menu.

  21. Alice K.

    Loved this! Was wondering what to make for dinner when Deb’s email came with this recipe. Perfect timing. I may have let too much liquid cook off, but it was great nevertheless. I used a “pipette” pasta (spelling may be off), which is very small curled horn-shapes, since I had them on hand.

  22. Margaret L

    I made this last night, and even my “No Sauce EVER” 5-year-old Picky McPickerson wolfed it. I mostly stuck to the recipe, but we didn’t have the cute little O’s pasta, so I used some “gnocchi,” which wasn’t exactly gnocchi in my book, just shell-shaped pasta, but whatevs. It was delicious. Thank you. Long-time fan of everything you do, Deb. You’re an inspiration and a delight.

  23. roxlet

    My mother routinely made this for dinner, but instead of using tomato paste, which tends to be somewhat sweet due to being so concentrated, she used tomato juice. Actually, she used tomato juice a lot for her lighter pasta dishes — pasta con ceci, pasta con piselli, pasta fagioli. And for us, it was never a meal but only a primi served before the main event, which was inevitably followed by a salad.

  24. Lauren

    On my way out for chickpeas. Also making the cover recipe from Cookbook #1… the biscuits alone were worth the price of that book, not to mention all the other recipes we now adore. Can’t wait for book #2.

  25. Dede H

    Wow! This looks like dinner tonight. I’ll put my pot of dried chickpeas in the oven to cook slowly while I take my tomato plants out of the garden (crying, all the while). It’s suddenly too cold and wet in Portland, OR for them to grow much. Then I will have a simple delicious bowl of yummy goodness and a salad of bitter greens (which are still growing just fine). Thank you!

  26. Stephanie

    Just made this and it is delicious! It made everyone happy, especially my 8 year old and my 15 year old vegan. Love one pot cooking. Comfort in a bowl.

  27. Anne in Yardley

    this might be just the thing for our office potluck next week. Any ideas on keeping / reheating without a stovetop? Possibly cook a double batch the night before, cool, transfer to a crock pot, and let that reheat the next day? Or would the pasta turn to absolute mush? Thanks.

    1. deb

      I think the pasta might turn to mush if too long, but you can help sidestep that by keeping it a minute undercooked. Also, you might need some extra liquid as the chickpeas and pasta will absorb as they sit.

  28. Zoe M

    Hi Deb! I’m wondering what you would serve alongside this if you were to have it for a casual dinner party?
    P.S. Can’t wait for your book signing in NYC later this month!

    1. deb

      Thank you! Not sure if the party is vegetarian or not but cannot go wrong with, say, grilled sausages and maybe garlic-rubbed grilled bread or toast (or garlic bread; or tomato bread). Or you can make bowls with some sauteed greens half-stirred and let people put an egg on it.

  29. Jai

    I had this one my first night in Rome. 2014 . It was a very comforting dish. When I got home I looked up a recipe and a potful.

  30. Lane

    I made the Food52 version of this a while ago and thought it was frightfully bland. But I haven’t give up hope yet! Plan on making your version soon :)

  31. Juli

    This recipe looked so good, I made it for a friend for lunch, and then I made it all over again for my husband and me for dinner! Two notes: 1)Your recipe says it serves 2-3. I’m not a huge eater, but I’d say your recipe makes more like one generous serving. I doubled it for my hubby and me for dinner, and there was a bit left over for me to enjoy w/ lunch the next day. 2)I tossed a box of baby spinach in at the end and stirred it just long enough to wilt the spinach. The bright green was gorgeous against the orange-red sauce, and I basically had a one-pot meal. No need for a side (although a salad might’ve been nice, too). LOVE this recipe! A keeper!

    1. I agree with the quantity. It didn’t go far enough for the three of us. Next time, and there will definitely be one, I will double the recipe. Love the idea of adding baby spinach as well. This recipe is a keeper!

    2. Laura in CA

      I would second this. I’m making it again right now and doubling it. I shared this recipe on FB and stated “recipe serves 2 – 3 but I could easily eat almost the entire pan; doubling would be a good idea.”

      1. Alexandra

        Thank you Deb for introducing me to this lovely Roman dish. But, yes I also really struggled with the serving guide (‘serves 2-3’). I doubled the recipe for four people for dinner and found it only made about three portions. Despite adding additional pasta and some broth to attempt to stretch it further my three guests all asked for a little more and I had none left to offer! If serving for a hearty evening meal as a stand alone dish I’d personally estimate the recipe serves 1-2.

  32. Karina Seppi

    Just made it! So good and so simple! My kids ate it up like they would never see food again and my husband did likewise. I used a chickpea pasta I had on hand. I was amazed how tomato-y the sauce is with so little tomato. We will make it again.

  33. Jamie Kamenitzer

    My grandmother (Italian-American from NJ) used to make something very similar with canellini beans and ditalini pasta and it was one of my favorites as a kid. Looking forward to trying this version!!

  34. Jill

    this is reminiscent of your previous post, ‘pasta with white beans and garlic-rosemary oil’, which I love and make often. Can’t wait to try the chickpea version!

  35. putnamk

    I made this, except for the garnish. And with white beans. What a dead simple little bit of magic! And it really does reheat well!

  36. Yvette

    We had this yesterday for dinner. I liked it, but I maybe changed too much (wrong kind of tomato paste?wrong shape of pasta? I don’t know) because we weren’t super excited by this, even with the oil. But maybe my expectations were just too high, as I’m regularly cooking your recipes and never disappointed :)

    Some considerations: The portions were definitely too small for us (2 medium sized Dutch adults), but with a side salad it would probably be enough. Also, I’m wondering: shouldn’t 2 cups be more like double the 275ml?

    1. Elia

      Yes, Yvette, the 275 mL does need to be adjusted. I noticed that as well when I started measuring the water.
      The recipe as written feeds two adults as a light dinner and a side. My husband and I loved this soup. Will definitely double next time. I made with ditalini, but will try to find the annelini since they are so cute.

      This recipe was incredibly easy and delicious. We added the hot flavored oil at the end that made it taste even better.

      Thanks again, Deb. ** See you in Chicago!!**

  37. Janet

    Deb, do you know Elizabeth Minchilli’s blog from Rome? I recently bought her book about eating in Rome…a combination of restaurant recommendations and recipes. I recommend it! P.s. I can’t wait until you book, ordered months ago, arrives at my house.

  38. This was tasty! Used a touch of red pepper flakes and was wonderful. The only small-ish pasta I had were mini elbows. This slightly had me worried for the outcome, but I really wanted to make the soup, turned out just fine. Will be making this again. Will try with home cooked chickpeas if possible. And will make as a double batch. Toddler and baby friendly for sure.

  39. So delicious! I used wide egg noodles since I didn’t have any small pasta, and it worked great. Added the Parmesan rind and just tossed some chopped fresh rosemary into it at the start and topped with freshly grated Parmesan rather than making the finishing oil (will try that next time.) Served with a garden salad and some good bread – was just right for 2. Husband loved it so much he was disappointed that there wasn’t more, but he admitted it was only because it was so good, not that he was still hungry. He would happily eat this twice a week. Or more.

  40. Hillary

    We made this tonight. Instead of water I used vegetable broth and instead of rosemary, fresh Italian parsley. Along side some crusty, grilled sourdough bread drizzled with your finishing oil. It’s comforting food and so simple to put together.

    Next time, I’m going to crack a couple of raw eggs into the dish and finish in the oven. While we were fawning over the dish, my hubby said an egg would take this dish over the top..in a goood way!

  41. sarahrichelleblog

    I never knew that pasta and chickpeas was actually a normal dish in Italy as I have this all the time :) I usually have pasta with chickpeas because of being vegetarian the chickpeas give me the protein I need but its interesting to read about where it actually comes from and the different ingredients you can add to it. I will try this next time I make it!

  42. NJ cook

    Doesn’t cooking the pasta in the sauce mean you’re eating all the starch? More pots, but better to parboil the pasta in water first and add to sauce to finish? Or does the starch not flow out into the sauce the way it does in boiling water?

    1. Sally

      This is something Italians don’t worry about. You can certainly cook the pasta separately, but, trust me, the end product is very different and not nearly as good.

  43. Jung Yoon

    Wow a total failure on my part. The pasta in the end absorbed all the liquid so the whole thing became a mushy mess. I probably should have taken it off the stove, out of the pot, and into bowls when the past was barely cooked. Instead I let it sit in the pot and by the time I went to serve it, it was not a pretty site.

  44. My sister and I made this tonight and it was soooo good! I added some paprika and nutritional yeast to it as well. Thanks for posting this, we loved it! It will be fun to play around with adding different spices to it too!

  45. fiche

    I made this for dinner last night and we enjoyed it. I made the following modifications:
    I used small shell pasta as I was unable to find rings. I also used a full cup of dry pasta.
    I am unable to eat garlic so I substituted just a pinch of garlic powder along with dried chiles.
    I didn’t prepare the finishing oil but rather topped with a generous helping of freshly rated grana padano.
    My partner and I both enjoyed the dish and as prepared above it was perfect for the two of us. I also prepared 1/3 of your harvest chicken recipe for him (I don’t eat meat) to accompany this dish. We enjoyed both and he liked the two together.

  46. Garbannezo

    I made this and it was simple and amazing. The only thing I would suggest was watching th cooking time. My pasta was fully cooked in 5 minutes so if I left it for 20 minutes it would of been very mushy. Other than that this was the simplest thing I ever cooked! So it will be a fixture for sure! Thanks Deb!

  47. Eva

    I make this regularly, but with one adaption: I usually sautee a chopped eggplant for 5min or so with plenty of olive oil before moving on to the additional steps.

  48. Jenny

    Made this for dinner last night with ditalini and the finishing oil. So good. Going into the regular dinner rotation around here. Thank you!

  49. Made this last night and craving it again already. Next time I will definitely double the recipe- I ate all of it by myself as it wasn’t quite enough for a full dinner + leftovers… So easy, quick and delicious!

  50. Used gluten-free small elbows. I was amazed at how good this was for being so simple. The sizzling olive oil finish makes it 100x better and is unskippable. I found I wanted a little more water to make it properly saucy. Meant to top with some pecorino romano, forgot, but didn’t miss it.

  51. AWads

    This dish has been in our regular family (of 3) rotation for a couple of years now. It’s a Meatless Monday go-to! I always double it (leftovers are amazing) but I add more olive oil than you do. Still, it is certainly magical!

  52. lem

    Hi Deb,

    This was a great weeknight meal and so tasty. A few things I did:
    1) Double the recipe! I made it as is and it didn’t seem like a lot so quickly made a second batch to have enough for lunch the next day.
    2) Added a small amount of ground chicken sausage which was great.
    3) Used sage instead of rosemary (since that’s what we had) for the herb oil and it tasted great. Don’t skip the finishing oil, it makes the dish!
    4) Agree with using a can of tomato paste (especially if you double the recipe). I like a little extra sauce since it’s so tasty.
    5) Our pasta cooked up pretty quickly but perhaps depends on what type of pasta you used (we used wagon wheel shaped pasta)

    Thanks again for a great dish!

  53. Sarah

    This is not only on my weekly rotation but I tweaked it the seon night by using mushrooms chunked up instead of chick peas (we had run out) and aded thick slices of zucchini in the last few minutes. I also added parmesan rind.

    It is absolutely delicious and so forgivingly impressive to have ready for the homecoming worker.

  54. Karen

    I just made this about 30 minutes ago. Amazing. Because I can’t resist a tiny tinker, I added a teaspoon of anchovy paste to the sauté (when one finds anchovy paste in a tube in one’s small southern Virginia town, one keeps it on hand 😀) and a sprig of thyme to the simmer – both ingredients on hand so no trip to the store. The resident teenage boy had to have an advance bowl before dinner.

  55. This was so delicious and it came together so quickly. I doubled it, took the suggestion to add a couple parm rinds to the boiling water and kept them in the pasta + beans + tomato mixture until we ate. It was so worth it. So flavorful, filling and comforting. In Deb we trust!

  56. Erica

    Jamie Oliver’s version of this dish has been a staple in my kitchen. Slow sautee fresh chopped rosemary with the onion & garlic, then add chickpeas, broth, then pasta at the end. I look forward to trying this recipe! Such a great economical dinner!

  57. Patricia

    This saved my bacon yesterday after being trapped at home with the baby and a sick kid. It was delicious! The finishing oil added just the right note of herbs and crunch.

  58. Sarah

    Fast, cheap, tasty, and nutritious! Hits all the buttons! I doubled the recipe, added a little cumin and lemon juice to brighten the flavor, plus a little spinach. I have a feeling this one will be a regular in the fall/winter rotation!

  59. Angela

    This is incredible. Honestly, I think I will be making I at least once a week from now until the end of time – it is magical! How can something so simple be so delicious. I made it exactly as described, with the oil to finish, and licked my bowl.

  60. Stephanie

    This was wonderful, I doubled it in order to have more leftovers for lunch and got about 5 small servings or 4 average ones. The only thing I added was a squeeze of lemon at the end!

  61. Lauren Schmidt

    I am ashamed and a little proud to say I ate this entire recipe myself (I only ate breakfast today!), and it will definitely become a regular in my rotation. It’s amazing!

  62. Elisabeth in Vienna

    This was another amazing and incredibly quick dinner. We all loved it. Thanks Deb, you never disappoint!
    Two, 55g pasta seems a shockingly small amount for 2-3. I doubled it and we still only had enough because our 7 year old was about to lose an incisor and refused to eat anything.
    How do you crush the garlic? With your hands? The side of a knife?

    1. deb

      The side of a knife, I usually smash it then break it up more with the spoon or spatula. Glad it was a hit. If we double it, it usually feeds the four of us plus leftovers for a lunchbox or two, but I do hear from others that our portions might run on the small side. (I blame this book and all of its talk about plate sizes!)

        1. deb

          Actually I have gotten so many responses about the serving size suggestion, I’ve changed it now to “2 to 3 petitely, 1 to 2, generously” which is hopefully a better guide. It doesn’t much matter if we eat it in smaller portions if nobody else seems to; I’d rather the suggestion be accurate. Thanks for the feedback.

  63. cynthia

    Although I tweaked the recipe to what I had on hand such as roasted red peppers instead of tomato paste and pinto beans with a jalapenos instead of chick peas, the dish was still fantastic and so easy. I made it in no time and I am sure leftovers will taste just as good

  64. Very yummy! I made this with actually two big changes: I more than doubled the recipe with two cans of beans (one of cannellini and one of chick peas), and I used tortellini for the pasta, which increased the total cooking time, but made for a really delicious dish. The finishing sauce gives this dish a really bright, fresh flavor.

    I will make it again.

  65. This looks so interestingly similar to the recipe for Egyptian Koshary that I sent you last week. Koshary has a rice-lentil base and vinegar dressing that this doesn’t but the mix of ditalini, tomato and chick peas is very reminiscent. Hope you get a chance to try the Koshary sometime. If your family likes this it will surely enjoy Koshary, though it requires a bit more prep time.

  66. Ann

    Question re: cooking with parmesan rind. The one time I tried this, I ended up with melted cheese glued to my stockpot, and then thoroughly imbedded in the kitchen sponge I used to clean it off (and which I subsequently threw out). I haven’t done it since because the mess outweighed the benefits. What am I doing wrong?

  67. I’ve made this three times in the last week! My toddler loves it. I sometimes add a pinch of chilli flakes or some mixed dried herbs. I make it with stock rather than water. Good to see another fan or Rachel Roddy – her column in the Guardian makes me want to visit Rome again so much!

  68. Alicia

    I liked this even better with the chickpeas partially mashed, next time I might over cook them on purpose. In the morning I fried an egg in the remnants of the garlic/Rosemary oil and topped the leftovers with it, the runny yolk mixed in with the sauce was (unsurprisingly) really good.

  69. My only regret is that there wasn’t enough for a second (or third) bowl. Next time I will increase the quantity! I subbed half chicken stock instead of water and added about a tablespoon of grated pecorino to deepen the flavor.

  70. Christian

    I made this tonight with the intention of saving half for lunch tomorrow, but then I ate the entire thing in one sitting. It is SO tasty and deceptively simple to make. Definitely a secret-weapon recipe to keep in your back pocket.

    Another great one from this site!
    CE

  71. Em

    We’ll definitely make this again–it was delicious. Thank you! We doubled it and got 5 servings. Added a parm rind with the water and 2 C. of chopped spinach to wilt in the sauce at the end.

  72. Debbie

    Hi Deb,

    This has turned out fabulously but did you mean 470ml of water instead of 275ml? My measuring cup shows 235ml is equal to 1 cup of water so I think the ml amount needs to be doubled.

    1. Claudia

      I have made this several times now, tripling the recipe each time, and use 825ml of water, which would confirm the 275ml in the original recipe. It comes out perfect every time.

  73. Elaine

    I loved this! I added celery chopped to look like tiny boomerangs. If I make this next week, I’ll use some squash. I tried it with rosemary and today enjoyed it as leftovers without. The parmesan rind was an amazing addition!

    Also, I used Trader Joe’s Trofie Colore macaroni and it held up really well! Beautiful, subtle colors, and al dente even after day 2.

  74. I made this with friends recently and it was amazing! Didn’t sound like it was going to be but it was! Because there was a group there were no leftovers – does it reheat well/make for good leftovers or not? Any tips if we’re hoping to stretch it over a few days?

  75. Betsy

    I made this a couple of days ago – I am so hungry for fall and the recipe seemed like it would invoke cooler temperatures. Well, the outside thermostat held firm at 85 (I’m in Miami) but this simple dish was absolutely delicious! YUM!

  76. Katherine

    This is delicious and so easy! I broke spaghetti noodles into short pieces and it is just right! I could eat the whole pot by myself.

  77. Just had this for dinner, amazing!! The pasta and chickpeas were so creamy and full of flavor. Made a few modifications as I was cooking with GF pasta (can get mushy easily) – cooked the pasta most of the way separately, while the chickpeas, tomato paste etc. cooked on low. Then added the pasta and about 1.5 cups of the pasta water and cooked all of that together another few minutes. Will be making again!

  78. MB

    A delicious, practically $2 meal that served a family of 5 in 20 minutes and the whole family liked it? This isn’t cooking, it’s magic! THANKS, DEB!

  79. Sally

    I first learned about the Roman meal calendar from Rachel Roddy and Jeannie Marshall, a Canadian expat also living in Rome and author of The Lost Art of Feeding Kids, She recommends Rachel’s book Five Quarters/My Kitchen in Rome for recipes that are examples of how Italians feed kids.

    I love Rachel’s column in The Guardian — as well as her books and blog.

    I finally made this last night and it was delicious! The only thing I’ll do differently next time is to use more pasta — not so much to stretch it but because I prefer more pasta. If I use chickpeas that I’ve cooked I’ll definitely use some of the cooking liquid because it’s so tasty.

  80. Amy

    Made as written (with the parm rind) and we loved it. So simple but flavorful and one pot!! Skipped the finishing oil but next time will have to try it! Had roasted green beans with parmesan and garlic bread as sides. Thank you for a great recipe!

  81. Cara

    This recipe is so good and luxurious, and easy and quick to boot. I used dried rosemary in the sauce and basil in the finishing sauce and it was perfect. Agree with other commenters – the recipe makes more like 1 and 1/2 ish large servings.

  82. yaeld

    Echoing the raves for this one. Like others, I added a parmesan rind and also used lots of chopped garlic with the tomato paste rather than just a couple crushed cloves. Also added some oregano and Italian seasoning to the sauce. Have to also agree that as written this is not enough for more than two people as a main; luckily I doubled it. I managed to find the spaghettio shaped pasta at an Italian grocer’s / fresh pasta shop and thought it made for a fun change. In fact,I think this recipe could used a higher pasta to sauce ratio and next time I think I will add extra with the same sauce recipe. Overall, a great recipe to begin that can easily be tweaked if you’re into more bold flavor. I made the oil and thought it added a lot so don’t skip that. Oh yeah, also added half a bag of baby arugula to the finished dish and let it wilt, borrowing from the baby spinach idea of others.

  83. Charity

    I made this for supper last night and am seriously considering making it again for lunch today, that’s just how good it is!!
    The finishing oil is amazing!

  84. shelly

    Sorry
    I do refrigerate the soaked chick peas

    With our 2 year old granddaughter she loved them fired In evvo with ferro kale and broccoli seasoning with smoked paprika turmeric and garlic salt…
    She loves my hummus too and gazpacho with plenty of ingredients

  85. Ro

    This was excellent! Simple on effort but huge on taste. Pay attention to the serving size. My only regret is that I didn’t double or triple the recipe for my brood.

  86. Hi Deb, I bet this tastes amazing, but sadly I’m really picky about beans and peas – I only like black beans in chili and burritos, not a big fan of chickpeas or white beans (I know, I’m nuts) I’m sure black beans would change the flavor, but do you think they’d taste good here? And if so, would you cook them any differently?

  87. Oh my goodness, do I need to make this. We’re anticipating some colder weather in the middle of next week, and I think I’m going to have to make this for lunch when that happens.

  88. Marissa

    This was absolutely incredible, I subbed out some homemade sundried tomato paste and orecchiette pasta because that’s what I had on hand and it was perfect! I added a fried egg on top as well and I am now addicted to this recipe.