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Pasta with Chickpea Sauce

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 cup)

Onions, carrots, and garlic cook in olive oil until buttery soft, then get blended with chickpeas and water to form a deeply savory puree that coats pasta beautifully. It’s a satisfying dish that just happens to be vegan. Try to let the blender run for a minute or two when pureeing the ingredients; the smoother the sauce, the better the dish. A flourish of fresh herbs at the end brightens and freshens the dish; you can use all parsley or all basil if you don’t have both on hand.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup drained canned unsalted chickpeas
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups hot cooked whole-grain penne (8 oz. uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 393
  • fat 12.3 g
  • satfat 1.7 g
  • monofat 7.6 g
  • polyfat 1.7 g
  • protein 12 g
  • carbohydrate 61 g
  • fiber 10 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 532 mg
  • calcium 62 mg
  • sugars 4 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium. 

  2. Add onion, carrot, and minced garlic; cook 8 minutes.

  3. Place onion mixture, chickpeas, water, salt, and pepper in a blender; process until smooth.

  4. Toss with hot cooked penne; sprinkle with parsley and basil.