Pasta with chickpeas, garlic and rosemary

I love this dish – it’s one I make when inspiration has failed me, and I want something comforting, nutritious and speedy. There are tons of variations on pasta with chickpeas, pasta e ceci, which is popular all over southern Italy. My mum gave this recipe to me, but I think it originally comes from The Silver Spoon. 

For 4 people

300g of short pasta like farfalle or fusilli
extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, crushed in salt
2 or 3 twigs of rosemary, chopped finely
400g tin of good quality chickpeas, drained
30g grated Parmigiano (couple of handfuls) or more if you fancy it

Boil the pasta of your choice according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While it’s cooking, heat the olive oil over a low to medium heat and add the garlic and rosemary. Gently fry them so garlic softens, but doesn’t colour.

Add the chickpeas and give everything a good stir. Cover the pan and leave the mixture to warm through in the oil for a couple of minutes. Use a potato masher to crush around half the chickpeas. You want a mix of whole and pureed peas.

Take a couple of ladles of pasta water from the saucepan and reserve it. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan; if it’s a last minute supper, save on the washing up and add the chickpea sauce to the pasta. Add the cheese and give everything a good stir. Slacken with a little water if necessary.  Dribble a little extra virgin olive oil over each serving.


Add a knife tip of peperoncino (cayenne) to the chickpea mixture while it’s warming through.

You could use oregano or thyme if rosemary isn’t to hand.