This is, hands down, my favorite pasta recipe. By definition, pasta and chick peas is not a refined dish. But there are purer ways to make this (and 1,000 variations). This is quick, easy and tasty. The recipe is adapted from an Italian recipe book, La Cuccina di Casa, put out by the estimable arbiters of Italian food and drink, Gambero Rosso, that really ought to be translated into English. It is all simple home cooking. My version differs in that it uses canned chick peas and does not fuss much with deseeding, peeling and milling the tomatoes. It is the perfect healthy fall and winter dish.


2 cloves garlic
4 fillets anchovies
4 ripe plum tomatoes
3 healthy sprigs rosemary
salt and pepper
1 can chick peas
4 cups chicken broth (better) or water
1/2 packet small pasta, like farfalle
3 tablespoons olive oil
grated parmesan


Step 1
Dice garlic. Cut up anchovies, roughly chop tomatoes.

Step 2
Over medium heat, saute garlic, anchovies and two rosemary sprigs until the anchovies are melted.

Step 3
Add chopped tomatoes. Sautee 10 or 15 minutes, till the tomatoes are fully cooked. Salt as needed.

Step 4
Increase heat and add can of chick peas, with water in the can, and a few cups of boiling water or heated chicken broth. Add last sprig of rosemary. Bring to soft boil.

Step 5
Add pasta. The liquid should just barely cover the pasta. Reduce heat to healthy simmer and cook till one minute less than the package recommends. Add water or broth if needed. But remember, the broth should be thick, so add the least amount of liquid possible that still allows the pasta to cook.

Step 6
When the pasta is done -- to my taste less done than usual -- spoon into bowls. Add grated parmesan, ground pepper and a few drops of good olive oil. Perfect.