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Presenting the one pot pasta with chickpeas, capers and tomato sauce – a saucy, comforting twist to the conventional pasta bowl. Spicy, creamy, tangy with healthy ingredients make it a quick go-to comfort meal option!
This one-pot pasta has all the makings of a great meal – it has chickpeas, pan-roasted tomatoes, a beautiful homemade arabbiata or marinara sauce (OR tomato puree if you don’t have the time to make your own pasta red sauce), olives, capers and feta. What is more, we cook the pasta IN the very water leftover from cooking the chickpeas (Hello, zero wastage and more nutrition!) and the tomato sauce, thus saving ourselves the effort to cook the sauce and the pasta separately like we do while for pastas usually.
Indeed, I’m here again with yet another pasta recipe – if you know me, you know that pasta makes my world go around! However, this recipe is different, as I’ve officially crossed into what is known as the ‘unconventional’ side: One Pot Pasta. Before you dismiss it – yes, it does work and yes, it can be delicious if you use the right amount of water and the right pasta for it. Do continue to read why One-pot pasta is sometimes a great resort!
Why One-Pot Pasta Works!
First, at the risk of offending pasta-purists, why the heck not! Of course, there could be confusion about how much water to use and which pasta to use, but if you can figure these two factors just right, one-pot pastas are fun! And so darn easy, too!
Most importantly, to make this pasta dish just as creamy and saucy as the usual red sauce pasta, we’ll need to ensure that we add the right amount of water for the pasta to cook just right and there is no excess water left behind, just a saucy pasta dish.
How to make the perfect One Pot Pasta with Chickpeas and Tomato Sauce
The objective here is a quick meal, lesser prep and fewer pots to clean later. Here’s how we make this one-pot pasta dish work fabulously:
- Aquafaba – OR the leftover liquid from the cooked chickpeas is very nutritious (see below) and delicious too so why waste it indeed, when we can cook our pasta in it! Also, it adds a beautiful rich note to the pasta.
- Homemade tomato sauce – If you follow my recipe for this (search “marinara sauce” on my blog), you’ll find that it is quite thick and hence can take the additional water we’ll add for cooking the pasta
- Farfalle – This bow-tie shaped pasta requires lot more water than spaghetti to cook, and thus is perfect for creamy or rich sauces. Matches perfectly with aquafaba and the feta we’ll add in later.
What are the Ingredients that make this One-pot pasta dish with chickpeas a balanced meal?
- Chickpeas – The star of this dish, chickpeas or garbanzo beans are a great source of protein (19 grams per 100 grams or ½ US cup of chickpeas), dietary fiber (17 grams per 100 grams or ½ US cup of chickpeas), as well as calcium, iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Needless to say, there are several great reasons to include chickpeas in your diet.
- Tomatoes – Eat these raw or cooked, as tomatoes are high in lycopene, an important antioxidant that improves heart health and prevents cancer. Also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and folate.
- Capers – With their signature sourness, capers add a great flavor boost to rich or creamy dishes. Also rich in vitamins A, E and manganese.
- Olives – Enter monounsaturated fats, polyphenols, flavonoids with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, not to mention these are downright taste bombs and no one can resist them.
- Feta – I’ll admit I use this more for its pungent, sour, and briny taste. However, feta does contain relatively fewer calories than other kinds of cheese like parmesan and cream cheese. Also, because of it’s pungent taste, we tend to consume less of feta, preventing calorie overload.
- Herbs and seasonings (optional) – Since my tomato sauce recipe already has dried oregano, rosemary and basil present in it, I just sprinkle these herbs on pan-roasted tomatoes as well, and that’s it. Lastly, I do add chili flakes for that spice kick and for it to cut through the richness of chickpeas, but that’s me!
How can I make some Substitutions (Help, I don’t have all the ingredients here!):
- What if I don’t have farfalle at home? No worries, any medium-sized pasta like penne, fusilli, etc. can be used without affecting the flavor and water measurements in the dish.
- I don’t have the time to make homemade red pasta sauce. In the event that you don’t have the time to make my red pasta sauce, just use tomato puree (the thicker kind) or store-bought tomato-based pasta sauce. While the flavor will vary, it will still taste great!
- Can I use usual tomatoes if I don’t have cherry tomatoes? Yes, you can cut the tomatoes into cubes and continue to roast them on the pan like I do.
- How do I prep the chickpeas? See Recipe below.
- I don’t have the time to cook dry chickpeas/ I can’t find dry chickpeas. Feel free to use the canned chickpeas. However, be sure to reserve some liquid in the can to add to the dish while cooking pasta.
- Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Sure, see Notes below.
- What if I don’t have feta cheese at home? Basically, feta does help cut through the richness of the pasta dish with its pungent and sour flavor. However, feel free to use homemade paneer/ ricotta/ cheese slices/ cheddar or parmesan cheese.
- Can I make this dish vegan? Of course! Use nutritional cheese/ nut-based creams or even yogurt in place of feta to make this dish vegan.
More Comfort-meal Suggestions!
Looking for more comfort food options which are healthy and balanced too? Check my
- Creamy Barley Risotto,
- Cacio e Pepe with Green Peas and Nutritional Yeast,
- Pad Thai Noodles & Fried Tofu in Peanut Sauce, or
- Nasi Goreng with Black Rice & Chickpeas
for more easy healthy meal ideas!
So, let’s get started with the recipe already!
Recipe: One Pot Pasta With Chickpeas, Capers and Tomato Sauce
Preparation Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 250g Durum wheat farfalle (I used the one by Borges)
- 200g or 1 cup dried chickpeas, pre-soaked through previous night OR 400g tinned chickpeas, drained.
- 250g cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 100g Homemade Marinara Sauce OR tomato puree
- 3 tbsp baby capers
- 50g green or ¼ cup olives, pitted and roughly-torn
- 1.5 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp paprika (optional)
- ½ tbsp dried herbs (oregano, basil & rosemary) (optional)
- ½ tsp cumin powder (optional)
- Salt, to taste
- 2.5 tbsp olive oil
- 40g feta cheese, crumbled or cut in cubes
- 700ml water, for cooking chickpeas
- 400ml aquafaba or leftover water from cooking chickpeas, for cooking pasta
First, add the pre-soaked chickpeas and water in a pressure cooker along with a pinch of salt. Allow to cook for 8-10 whistles and switch off. Alternately, you can cook the presoaked chickpeas on stovetop in a container for 40-60 minutes.
Next, drain the cooked chickpeas and reserve the aquafaba or leftover liquid for boiling the pasta in later on.
Meanwhile, place a skillet on medium flame and place the cherry tomato halves for roasting. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle herbs and salt over the tomatoes. Allow to roast for 5-10 minutes, until the tomatoes look cooked. Turn off the flame at this point and set aside.
Now, heat 1.5 tbsp olive oil in a deep pan or pot and add minced garlic and chopped onions. Once the onions are translucent pink, add cooked chickpeas and allow them to fry for 5 minutes. Thereafter, add the tomato sauce and stir.
Next, add the aquafaba to the pot and bring up to a simmer on medium flame. When you see bubbles forming on the surface, add pasta and salt. Allow to cook for 10-12 minutes – check meanwhile for doneness. The pasta should be al dente or should have a firm bite – take care to not cook until its mushy.
Thereupon, add pan-roasted tomatoes, capers, torn olives, paprika, cumin powder and herbs. Consequently, turn off the flame and add feta cubes.
Lastly, serve while hot!
I’d certainly love to hear how this recipe turned out for you, if you tried it. By all means, do post a pic on Instagram and tag #fitfoodiediary in the picture!
One Pot Pasta with Chickpeas, Capers and Tomato Sauce
- 250 g Durum wheat farfalle I used the one by Borges
- 200 g or 1 cup dried chickpeas pre-soaked through previous night OR 400g tinned chickpeas, drained.
- 250 g cherry tomatoes washed and halved
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 100 g Homemade Marinara Sauce OR tomato puree Homemade Marinara Sauce
- 3 tbsp baby capers
- 50 g green or ¼ cup olives pitted and roughly-torn
- 1.5 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp paprika optional
- ½ tbsp dried herbs oregano, basil & rosemary (optional)
- ½ tsp cumin powder optional
- Salt to taste
- 2.5 tbsp olive oil
- 40 g feta cheese crumbled or cut in cubes
- 700 ml water for cooking chickpeas
- 400 ml aquafaba or leftover water from cooking chickpeas for cooking pasta
- First, add the pre-soaked chickpeas and water in a pressure cooker along with a pinch of salt. Allow to cook for 8-10 whistles and switch off. Alternately, you can cook the presoaked chickpeas on stovetop in a container for 40-60 minutes.
- Next, drain the cooked chickpeas and reserve the aquafaba or leftover liquid for boiling the pasta in later.
- Meanwhile, place a skillet on medium flame and place the cherry tomato halves for roasting. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle herbs and salt over the tomatoes. Allow to roast for 5-10 minutes, until the tomatoes look cooked. Turn off the flame and set aside.
- Now, heat 1.5 tbsp olive oil in a deep pan or pot and add minced garlic and chopped onions. Once the onions are translucent pink, add cooked chickpeas and allow them to fry for 5 minutes. Thereafter, add the tomato sauce and stir.
- Next, add the aquafaba to the pot and bring up to a simmer on medium flame. When you see bubbles forming on the surface, add pasta and salt. Allow to cook for 10-12 minutes – check meanwhile for doneness. The pasta should be al dente or should have a firm bite – take care to not cook until its mushy.
- Add pan-roasted tomatoes, capers, torn olives, paprika, cumin powder and herbs. Turn off the flame and add feta cubes.
- Serve while hot!