Pasta with Chickpeas
3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil, divided
½ small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 x 5.5 oz (156 ml) can tomato paste
1 x 19 oz (540 ml) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock, plus 1 cup (250 ml) or more, if needed
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
½ tsp (2.5 ml) chili flakes
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups (500 ml) dry ditalini pasta
1 cup (250 ml) grated Pecorino cheese, plus extra for garnish
¼ cup (60 ml) chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
- Heat 2 tbsp (30 ml) oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, until soft. Add tomato paste and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chickpeas, 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock, rosemary, bay leaf, chili flakes and sugar. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until chickpeas are tender.
- Remove from heat. Remove and discard rosemary sprig and bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, gently pulse mixture until thickened but some texture remains (or, transfer half the mixture to a blender and pulse for 1 minute, then transfer back to pot). This is to thicken stock; don’t blend fully, as you still want some whole chickpeas.
- Return pot to medium-low heat, add pasta and cover with a lid. Stirring occasionally, gently simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until pasta is cooked through. If all liquid has been absorbed and pasta is not fully cooked, add another 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable stock at a time, as needed, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente.
- To serve, stir in 1 cup (250 ml) Pecorino, then remove from heat and garnish with extra Pecorino, parsley and remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil.