Roman Pasta & Chickpeas

Yield: 3 servings Active time: 10 minutes Total time: 30 minutes April 15, 2020

Our lives have changed in the past month. We are sheltering in place in our homes due to the arrival of the coronavirus, so all work, school, cooking, and eating is now done at home. I no longer dash to get a poke bowl or go for lunch with a coworker, I don’t even really leave the house.

This comforting bowl of chickpeas and pasta, cooked in its own sauce, has become a weekly go-to lunch we can make quickly at home and eat while we work and help Leo do his schoolwork. Made entirely from pantry staples, it’s garlicky and satisfying, and is a small dose of reassurance in uncertain times.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.


  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (from two 15-oz. cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup uncooked small pasta

Finishing Oil

  • 4 to 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • Red pepper flakes


In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, heat the water in the microwave 5 minutes or until boiling.

Smash the garlic, open the tomato paste, drain and rinse the chickpeas, and measure out the pasta.

In a medium-large heavy-bottomed pot or deep sauté pan, heat 4  olive oil until it shimmers. Add 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 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning and ladle into bowls.

Finishing Oil

Heat 4 to 6 Tbs. olive oil in a small saucepan or frying pan over medium-low heat with the chopped garlic, rosemary, and pepper flakes until sizzling; pull it off the heat as soon as the garlic is going to start taking on color. Drizzle over bowls of pasta e ceci and eat right away.

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