Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea pasta with roasted chickpeas

The Spruce / Anita Schecter 

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
337 Calories
10g Fat
51g Carbs
13g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 337
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 91mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 26mg 132%
Calcium 69mg 5%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 445mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, partly because they are so versatile. If the idea of turning them into a sauce seems a little odd, consider that hummus is basically a thick chickpea sauce. (And yes, hummus actually does taste good on pasta!) Adding chickpeas to pasta makes for an earthy, nutty sauce.

Topping pasta with a puréed bean sauce, whether you use chickpeas or white beans, is also a great way to thicken a pasta sauce without using dairy, which is helpful whether you're eliminating lactose or following a vegan diet. Feel free to use any kind of pasta you like, but angel hair works well here.

Chickpeas are fairly mild in flavor, but make an excellent canvas for a wide variety of spices. Cumin is one of the more traditional matches, but feel free to experiment with smoked paprika or curry powder, or perhaps even a touch of cinnamon.

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 pound angel hair pasta

  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Set aside.

  2. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet or cast-iron pan. Add the ground cumin and ground coriander and cook for one minute on high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

  3. Add the rinsed and drained chickpeas to the pan, along with the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes (if using). Continue cooking on high heat for about 5 minutes until the chickpeas begin to lightly brown. Remove all but about 1/4 cup of the chickpeas to a blender.

  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the angel hair pasta. Cook according to package directions. Before removing from the heat, ladle a cup of the pasta water into the blender with the chickpeas. Drain the pasta, and add to the pan with the remaining chickpeas. Toss to combine.

  5. Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the blender with the chickpeas and pasta water and purée until smooth. Check the seasoning and add more salt, if needed.

  6. Pour the chickpea sauce over the pasta and stir in the parsley. Top with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and serve hot.

Tips

This recipe works great with canned chickpeas, particularly because it is quick and easy to make on busy weeknights, but it's even more delicious if you start with dried beans.

For the quick soak method, place the dried beans in a large pot of water, bring it to a boil, remove it from the heat, and let it stand for one hour. Then drain the beans and proceed with the recipe as if they were canned. The beans will be creamier and as a result, create a creamier sauce—just as making hummus with dried beans means a creamier hummus. Whichever method you choose, this nutritious sauce will become a staple on your menu.

How to Store and Freeze Chickpea Pasta

This pasta will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for 3 to 5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave or a saucepan over medium-low until it's completely hot.

You can also freeze this pasta as long as it's well-covered in sauce; pasta that freezes without sauce tends to be mushy upon reheating. Defrost in the fridge and then transfer to the stove to reheat completely. Freshen it up with chopped parsley and a dollop of hummus, if desired.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.