- One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red or yellow onion, diced
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (see note below)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup, honey, or granulated sugar (optional, see note below)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound penne (or another short pasta)
- 1 generous cup basil leaves, gently torn
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
- Place half of the chickpeas in a shallow bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, mash until they turn into a chunky paste. Combine with the remaining whole chickpeas and set aside.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Then add 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and cook for 30 seconds more.
- To the skillet, add the tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon sweetener of your choice, a few grinds of black pepper, and all of the chickpeas. Stir to combine and cover tightly with a lid. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Generously salt the boiling water and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining.
- Drain the pasta and return it back to the pot. Add the tomato-chickpea mixture, 1 cup torn basil leaves, a few more grinds of black pepper, and the reserved pasta water. Stir to combine, taste, and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve immediately.
- You can sub with dried parsley, Italian seasoning, or Herbes de Provence.
- I like to add a bit of sweetener to tomato sauces to balance out their acidity. This really helps round out the flavors, but you can leave it out.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 430
Keywords: italian, pasta, chickpeas, vegan