I love pasta. And not because I’m part Italian (although I suspect that does have a little bit to do with it), but because it’s so simple—and quick—to make. You can take the humblest of ingredients and transform them into a meal that’s both filling and delicious, and most importantly: much better for you than ordering takeout because you’re too tired to cook (or don’t have the time to).
This particular pasta has made a regular appearance on our dinner table these past few weeks. I originally made it out of desperation (read: only things I had available, no time to go grocery shopping) and it was delicious. I also posted it on Instagram, where it got a lot of love. Imagine this (and then go make it for dinner!): warm chickpeas, a beautifully sticky tomato sauce with flecks of garlicky goodness, lots of basil, and a little kick from dried chili—with little pasta shells as the vessels that bring it all together. I highly recommend you make this the next time you’re in a hurry—it takes fifteen minutes from start to finish, and the only work required is some light chopping.
- 300 g / 10.5 oz pasta (I used conchiglie rigate)
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 750 g / 26 oz cherry tomatoes*, chopped in half
- 1 tin chickpeas, 260 g / 9 oz drained
- handful fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
- *you can substitute fresh cherry tomatoes with 1 tin of chopped tomatoes.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling, salt generously and add the pasta. Cook until al dente (for me this was 9 minutes).
- While the pasta is cooking, place the olive oil, garlic, and chili in a large saucepan on medium heat. Cook the garlic until it softens and starts to turn golden (you don’t want burnt garlic)—about a minute, then add the tomatoes. Stir until the tomatoes are coated with the oil mixture, add the chickpeas, then place a lid on the pan and continue to cook for 5-7 additional minutes.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the tomato-chickpea sauce, tear the basil and stir it in, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with grated parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.