Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas.
One word. YUM.
Spicy crunchy chickpeas, tomato basil penne pasta, and burrata. All made in about thirty minutes and using pantry staple ingredients. I mean, what could be better than that (said in my best Ina Garten voice)?
It’s no secret around here that I like, no love, my carbs, and pasta has to be one of my favorites. Who else is with me on this?
As I write this post, it’s currently dumping snow outside my window and has been all day long. It’s cold, wintry, and all I can think about is the fact that I do not have a bowl of this pasta to cozy up to. Oh how I wish I had some left, because it would make writing this post so much easier. Instead, all I have are these photos, reminding just how good this pasta was.
Did I mention the burrata? OMG. So good.
Like most of you, my weeknights are always busy and I’m trying to pack in as much as possible. Unlike most of you, I do normally have dinner made and ready, since I shoot new recipes for HBH almost daily. I guess that’s just one of the perks of cooking and photographing food as your full time job. Not complaining.
Thing is, there are less often days when I don’t cook at all, and instead sit at my computer and work all day long on what I call “computer busy work”. If you’re wondering, these are not my most favorite kind of work days, but they are just as important as developing and photographing recipes, so they have to happen.
Anyway, when I don’t cook for multiple days in a row, I’m left with the fact that I actually need to make dinner. When it’s just me, and I have zero boys to think about serving, I always go straight for the pasta.
And the burrata.
And that is where today’s recipe comes into play. This is my any night of the week…single girls pasta, and it’s a new favorite.
Side Note: I am now the only single one left out of my siblings…well, minus Asher, who is nine…ok, and my oldest brother, who I’m not sure could ever handle a girlfriend for more than a week…
If you’re at all familiar with my cooking style, then you know I have a handful of ingredients I love using. Basil pesto is one of those ingredients. Whenever I’m in a pinch, and need to create a recipe quickly and with minimal ingredients, I always reach for pesto. It adds so much flavor and color to dishes. Plus, basil is one of my favorite herbs, so it’s just naturally a go-to for me.
This tomato basil sauce literally consist of two ingredients, canned tomatoes and basil pesto. So, so, so simple, but yet so delicious. For added flavor and texture, I paired the pasta with spicy Italian style chickpeas. They have the flavor of spicy sausage, but minus the pork, and you guys…I think I actually like them better.
The key is to cook the chickpeas first. You can even use the same pot you’ll make the sauce in. Not only does this make for less dishes, but some of the seasoning from the chickpeas gets left in the bottom of the pot, adding-in even more flavor to the tomato sauce. Trust me, it’s easy, delicious, and again, this pasta uses all pantry staple ingredients. It really does not get simpler or better.
Finish the pasta with a ball of burrata and you have the most perfect plate of food fit for any night of the week.
Also, while I might be enjoying this pasta solo, it would make for a great Valentine’s Day dinner with its pretty red hue. Maybe along side this chocolate cake? Yum. Yum.
Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas
Servings: 8 servings
Calories Per Serving: 376 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- kosher salt and pepper
- 2 cans (28 ounce) san marzano tomatoes
- 1/2 cup basil pesto, homemade or store bought
- 1 pound penne
- 8 ounces burrata cheese, torn
- basil, for serving
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- 1. Heat a large pot over medium high heat, add the chickpeas, olive oil, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, fennel, mustard seeds, onion powder, and a pinch of salt. Toss well to evenly combine. Cook, stirring often until the chickpeas are warmed through and golden crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the chickpeas from the pot to a plate and set aside.2. To the same pot, add the tomatoes - crushing them by hand as you add them, add the pesto, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cook stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10-15 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to packages directions until al dente. Drain and then toss the pasta in the red sauce. 4. Divide the pasta among bowls. Top with chickpeas and burrata. Garnish with basil.
We are off to South Korea today, so be sure to follow along on Instagram…I’m going to try to share as much as possible!