Pasta with saucy chickpeas

Pasta with saucy chickpeas

I’ve been making this recipe for my twin sons for a while now and it’s getting to the point that they’re starting to ask for it for dinner which isn’t bad for 3 year olds!

Children can be a bit finicky when it comes to vegetables but not so it seems to beans and legumes!

his is one of the many lean recipes that I’ve created where flavour and simplicity are key. There are hundreds of lean recipes in my app The Lean Cook with adjustable calories and macros.

Ingredients for 1 serving

200 g chopped tomatoes, blended until smooth
80 g dried pasta
1 garlic clove, chopped or crushed
1/4 tsp pesto
120 g chickpeas, tinned, drained weight
15 g olive oil
30 ml water
1 pinch sugar
salt and pepper


  • Put a pan of boiling water onto the heat and cook the dried pasta for the manufacturers recommended time.
  • By the time it’s cooked, your sauce will be ready!!
  • Take a medium frying pan and pop it on a medium heat.
  • Add the oil to warm and after a minute add the garlic.
  • Infuse the oil with the aromatics before adding the drained chickpeas.
  • After cooking these for a couple of minutes, add the tomatoes, pinch of sugar and 30ml of water.
  • Bring the sauce to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer for a few minutes.
  • Season the sauce to taste and remove the sauce from the heat when it is lovely and thick before adding the pesto.
  • When the pasta is ready, take it off the heat, add a splash of cold water to stop the pasta over cooking, drain and add it to the sauce.
  • Coat the pasta in your lovely thick sauce and plate up.

Recipe Notes

  • For this recipe, the dried pasta varieties I’ve used are Spaghetti, Rigatoni and Tagliatelle but my children like a mixture of 2 different pasta shapes.
  • When buying pesto, check the ingredients label to ensure you choose the brand with the highest concentration of basil leaves. In my experience budget brands seems to have the edge on the mainstream brands!
  • Traditionally in Italian cooking you would use the smallest pinch of sugar to take any acidity out of the tomatoes.
  • Serve with a lovely green salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

Nella Foulds
Nella Foulds

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