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When Pasta Met Chickpeas

Pasta con Ceci is a beautiful marriage of pantry staples that should be a staple of any meatless Mondays or any other day ending in "Y."

9:00 AM EDT on June 23, 2023

I became obsessed with chickpeas during the pandemic. They were like my secret weapon in the kitchen due to their nutritional value and versatility. My obsession led me to Victoria Granov, a cookbook author, food stylist and bon vivant who literally wrote the book on chickpeas. Her recipe for pasta con ceci became a regular in my repertoire, and — thanks to our shared Brooklyn homebases — Victoria and I became fast friends. So not only are chickpeas healthy and delicious, they can also improve your social life!

Here is my adapted version of Victoria's "Pasta con Ceci."

Pasta con Ceci

Pasta con Ceci

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Recipe by Andrew Cotto


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1/2 pound 1/2 macaroni elbows

  • 1 can 1 chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed.

  • 3 cloves 3 garlic, sliced

  • 3 tbs. 3 tomato paste

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 tsp. 1 red pepper flakes


  • Put on a pot of water to boil.
  • When the water boils, add a handful of salt and the pasta.
  • Stir the pasta until the water returns to a boil.
  • Add olive oil and garlic to a cold pan and slowly bring to medium heat.
  • Allow garlic to slowly soften (around three minutes) but not sizzle.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir until it blends with the oil.
  • Raise the heat slightly past medium and add the chickpeas.
  • Toss in the sauce and allow to simmer.
  • Add two cups of pasta water to the pan and raise the heat to between medium and high.
  • Two minutes short of al dente, drain the pasta and add to the pan.
  • Toss consistently until the pasta has absorbed most of the water.
  • Distribute the pasta and chickpeas to warm bowls.
  • Swirl with fresh olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
  • Serve immediately.

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