Ceci (Chickpeas) Sauce with Penne

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 Fresno or Holland red chile pepper, finely chopped

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped

1 fresh bay leaf

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (28-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 (28-ounce) can whole or crushed San Marzano tomatoes

1 pound whole wheat or whole grain penne

Freshly grated Pecorino cheese, for serving

Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for serving


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet or medium Dutch oven, add the onions, garlic, Fresno chile, rosemary, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and cook to soften, 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add about 2/3 of the chickpeas to a food processor, then quick-pulse into fine bits. Add the finely chopped chickpeas and remaining whole chickpeas to the pan and heat through. Stir in the stock and tomatoes. Break up the whole tomatoes and simmer the sauce to thicken a little. Cool and store for make-ahead meal.
  3. Reheat over moderate heat and stir occasionally.
  4. Bring water to boil for pasta, salt the water and cook to al dente. Reserve a cup of starchy pasta water just before draining. Drain the pasta and place back in the hot pot and toss with the sauce and as much starchy water as you need to combine. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls topped with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle of Pecorino cheese and parsley.