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Chickpea and Tomato Penne Pasta


  • 1 pound penne pasta or whole wheat penne pasta

  • Salt

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (a couple of healthy pinches)

  • Black pepper

  • 1 can chickpeas (14-18 ounces), rinsed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 can Italian crushed tomatoes or tomato puree (28 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (a handful), chopped

  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more to pass at table


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the EVOO, three turns of the pan, in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until very tender.

Pulse-process the chickpeas in a food processor to finely chop them. Add the chickpeas to the onion and garlic mixture; add the tomato paste and stir to combine for 1 minute, then stir in the chicken stock and crushed or pureed tomatoes. Adjust the salt and pepper, to taste.

Toss the pasta, cooked to al dente, together with the sauce and serve in shallow bowls. Top with parsley and lots of grated Pecorino Romano cheese. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to