One-pot pasta with chickpeas uses simple ingredients but tastes so good. Easy to make in about 40 minutes so it’s a great weeknight meal.
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Fall is the perfect time for an easy meal like this one-pot pasta and chickpeas. This healthy recipe is fast to throw together and the flavor is wonderful.
It makes an easy weeknight dinner or an excellent casual meal for company. Serve it with your favorite dry white wine, a green salad, and good bread. If you have time, you could make my French baguette recipe.
Why This Recipe Works
This is comfort food where pasta and chickpeas are starch on top of starch. A little pancetta, (or bacon), for richness. Throw in some tomato for color and lemon juice for freshness.
The great flavor is due to lots of garlic as well as the umami from the tomatoes and anchovy paste that increase the richness of this simple recipe; the slightly overcooked chickpeas and starch from the pasta make it creamy.
One of the best things about this recipe is that there’s no mincing involved–just pulse the vegetables in your food processor. We own two food processors, and I used the small Kitchen Aid, but the larger model like this (#ad) Cuisinart would work fine, too.
Ingredients in the Dish
There are quite a few ingredients in this pasta stew, but most are pantry-style items.
Panchetta or Smokey Bacon – This gives the stew a dynamite flavor.
Carrot, Celery, Onion, and Garlic – These veggies get chopped in your food processor to make prepping a breeze.
Can of Tomatoes – 14 ounce whole or diced tomatoes.
Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans – Whatever you call them, you need 2, 15-ounce cans with their liquid.
Ditalini Pasta – This pasta is really small and is perfect for this stew.
The Rest of the Ingredients – Olive oil, anchovy paste, fresh rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, lemon juice, parsley, water, and grated parmesan cheese.
A big enameled dutch oven is perfect for making this one-pot pasta and chickpeas stew. I used a 6 quart Lodge Dutch oven and we use it all the time for making soups and stews. Meat browns beautifully in it too. The enameled surface cleans up easily.
If you don’t have a dutch oven, Lodge makes a very nice one that is economical. They come in different colors so you don’t have to get Caribbean blue as I have. The Lodge brand is a very good buy.
Start by placing the pancetta or bacon in a food processor. Pulse this a few times then add the coarse chopped carrot, celery, onion, and garlic cloves. Pulse the veggies until they are minced into small bits.
Put the olive oil into the dutch oven on medium heat and add the veggies and pancetta. Cook this while occasionally stirring for about 5 minutes. This will cook the meat and soften the vegetables. Next, stir in the anchovy paste, rosemary, pepper flakes, and salt.
Then add the tomatoes, chickpeas and their juice, and water. Bring this to a boil and then add the ditalini pasta.
Boil the stew until the pasta is softened which will take 10 or 11 minutes. Taste the stew and add more salt if needed.
Take the pot off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley and lemon juice.
Serve the stew hot with some grated parmesan if desired.
Expert Tips For Making the Pasta and Chickpeas Stew
I have made this recipe with both pancetta and smokey bacon. Either one works just fine.
I have also used a can of diced tomatoes without pureeing. The tomatoes are more chunky but the taste is the same. For simplicity, diced tomatoes are recommended now.
The anchovy paste is optional but the subtle flavor boost it gives really compliments the rosemary and bacon flavors.
I like the ditalini pasta for this stew since the pasta is about the same size as the chickpeas. You can also use any small pasta shapes if you prefer.
You can make this economical and satisfying dish in just over thirty minutes and it makes about 8 servings so there may be some great leftovers that will easily reheat in the microwave.
The aromas that fill your house will have family and guests demanding to eat NOW. Give this a try. It’s delicious.
And here are some more tasty pasta recipes to try:
One-Pot Pasta and Chickpeas Stew
- 2 oz , pancetta, chopped (or substitute smokey bacon)
- 1 small carrot , coarse chopped
- 1 small celery rib , coarse chopped
- 1 small onion , coarse chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 14- oz . can whole plum tomatoes, drained and pureed *see notes substitute diced tomatoes and their juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp anchovy paste or 2 whole anchovies
- 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (1 tsp. dried rosemary)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 15- oz cans chickpeas with liquid
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 8 oz . ditalini pasta
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (juice from 1/2 lemon)
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- grated parmesan cheese for garnish
- In a food processor, place the pancetta and puree, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides when necessary.
- Place the chopped carrot, celery, onion, and garlic cloves in the processor with the pancetta and pulse 8 to 10 times until finely minced.
- Place the pancetta and vegetables in a dutch oven or other 6-quart stock pot and add the olive oil. Cook the olive oil and pureed mixture on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Then, add the anchovy paste, rosemary, and pepper flakes and cook another minute.
- While the vegetables cook, place the drained whole tomatoes in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Or, use canned diced tomatoes for simplicity.
- Next, add the tomatoes, chickpeas, and their liquid, water, and salt, and bring to a boil.
- Add pasta and cook until softened, about 11 minutes
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley.
- Serve hot with grated parmesan and more parsley if desired.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days.
- Reheat in a microwave or in a saucepan on the stove, adding a bit of water to loosen the stew.
- Use pancetta or smoky bacon, whichever you prefer.
- I prefer the size of ditalini pasta but any small sized pasta will work.
- I originally made this recipe with whole plum tomatoes that were pureed, but I've also made it with diced tomatoes without pureeing them. Either way the taste is pretty much identical.