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Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas.

Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas | #recipes #pasta #dinner #easy #quick

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.

Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas | #recipes #pasta #dinner #easy #quick

Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas | #recipes #pasta #dinner #easy #quick

Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas | #recipes #pasta #dinner #easy #quick

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…

Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas | #recipes #pasta #dinner #easy #quick

Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas | #recipes #pasta #dinner #easy #quick

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 | #recipes #pasta #dinner #easy #quick

Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
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. 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. 
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Easiest Tomato Basil Penne with Spicy Italian Chickpeas | #recipes #pasta #dinner #easy #quick

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!

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  1. 3 stars
    Hi! I was so excited for this recipe but unfortunately my sauce came out super watery and looked nothing like your beautiful picture! I read another reviewer’s comment who experienced the same thing, and I took the advice you gave them ( to simmer for longer until the sauce thickens) but after 25 minutes over medium heat it still remained just as watery. Wondering how necessary the step of adding the water is to the sauce? Could I omit it next time? Or maybe add corn starch to thicken it a bit? I loved the taste of the seasoned chick peas so I’d be willing to try it again!

    1. Hey Niki! So sorry you had trouble. Yes, I would just recommend omitting the water from the recipe. It sounds like it just not needed. Adjust the recipe now. Again, so sorry you had some trouble. Hoping it goes better the second time. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you! xTieghan

  2. The picture of the pasta is beautiful. It looks like you put the pesto on top of the finished dish instead of in the tomato sauce…or is that just extra pesto ?
    Thanks. Love your recipes !

    1. Hey Jen! I think using 3-4 cups of fresh cherry tomatoes will work amazingly well! Just simmer until they burst. You might add 1 cup of water, wine or chicken broth to move the process along and provide for more sauce. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Made this and we all loved it – best idea for a tomato sauce ever, just brilliant!!! And by topping with the chickpeas, it works for any taste!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this today and it came out sooo good! The only thing I noticed was that when i was simmering the crushed tomatoes with the pesto, there was so much splatter! I used a large pot as directed. The tomato sauce was bubbling and literally popping up 2 feet into the air! My walls, floor, and stove were covered in tomato splatter. I’m not sure if I did something wrong… I tried adjusting the heat but it was still popping up like crazy… Anyway, I would definitely recommend this recipe just because the flavors were incredible.

  5. Hi Tieghan! I’m wondering if it would make a huge difference if I subbed the san marzano tomatoes with equal amounts of passata? It’s a textural thing for me – I just don’t like eating tomato seeds and bits, haha. Otherwise, this recipe has me completely salivating! Absolutely LOVE the spicy Italian chickpeas, what a fantastic way to bulk up a vegetarian pasta course!

    1. Yes, that should fine! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  6. Hi Tieghan! I loved this recipe: so flavorful and simple to make. It did make quite a bit of sauce. Like more than enough to use for another pound of pasta. I used the crushed tomatoes instead of crushing them myself…maybe that was the issue? Any other ideas? Thanks!

    1. HI! It was probably the crushed tomatoes that gave you more sauce. Next time just halve the sauce recipe. Please let me know if you have other questions. So glad you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  7. This was soooo good, but the sauce was too watery and didn’t look like yours? Maybe too much juice from inside the whole tomatoes? I followed the directions exactly.

    1. HI! It sounds like you just need to simmer the sauce a little longer until the liquid evaporates. Please let me know if you have other questions. Glad you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  8. This looks amazing! Could you please recommend spice measurements (or alternatives) for the chickpeas to make less spicy? Thank you!

    1. Sure! See below! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

      1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
      1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
      1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1 teaspoon onion powder

  9. 5 stars
    Just made this for my husband tonight. Delicious! Never had burrata before, have I been missing out. Thank you for posting it! ?

  10. 5 stars
    Hello from Poland!!! Found your blog after watching your brother at the Olimpics. Made the pasta yesterday for Vday, was delicious! Love your recipes reminds me of back when I use to live in Canada?

    1. That is so great, welcome to my blog! I am really glad you enjoyed this pasta and hope you like some other recipes as well! Thank you Joanna!

  11. Oh my stars, this is a keeper and a repeater that will land on our dinner table time and time again! My hubby made this last night and we just flipped over it. We have made chickpeas like shown in this recipe for snacking, but never thought to incorporate into a pasta recipe! He made his quick marinara and loved the idea to add basil pesto into the sauce, fantastic….then topped with the creamy burratta..heaven! We literally ate the entire pan in one sitting! Huge props, Teighan! Safe travels back to the states – GREAT pics from Korea! Can’t wait to see more 🙂