Pasta with Chickpeas: A Quick + Easy Pantry Dinner

Here’s a meal that always means romance to me. Simple and quick though it is. Pasta with chickaps was the first meal that I ever cooked for my Intn’l Man of Mystery. On our second date no less.

chickpeas and onions

I had learned to make it when I was working as an au pair in Italy, before I went to uni.

It’s called ‘pasta con ceci’ in Italian and I learned from Radenta, the housekeeper employed by the family I worked for.

Far away and long ago!

Pasta With Chickpeas – Quick + Easy Veggie Meals

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 15 mins

Serves: 3-5

You can adapt this recipe in many ways, the type of pasta, the onions etc


  • 1 onion
  • clove of garlic or more
  • knob of butter – yes butter!
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 100g of pasta per person – your choice
  • parmesan cheese


  • Chop the onion as you like it, I prefer cut in half and finely sliced. Chop garlic.
  • Saute the onion and garlic in the butter slowly until slightly golden and soft.
  • Meanwhile, boil the pasta until al dente.
  • Lay a bed of pasta in your bowl and put chickpea/onion mix on top.
  • Add lots of parmesan.
  • Scoff the lot!

I’ve also adapted this recipe using tinned cannellini beans, and with various mixed dried beans that I’ve soaked and boiled until tender.

My husband still loves this – hooray! – and it satisfies his need for bulk carbohydrates.  Ditto 3/4 of the kids.  Not a bad family meal hit in my home.

These days I often eat the chickpeas on top of a bed of veggies or coleslaw instead of pasta.

The leftovers are awesome next day on toast or simply as they are.

What’s your favourite vegetarian pasta meal?

Did you learn any cooking overseas?

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