chickpea puttanesca recipe

One Pot Chickpea Puttanesca

Not your traditional puttanesca

Weeknight meals need to be easy and fast to clean up, that is one reason I’m really digging this one-pot puttanesca recipe. No, this is not a traditional slow cooked Italian meal, but puttanesca was never intended to be. Traditionally this was a quick sauce that could be made and served over spaghetti or other long noodle.

This dish breaks those rules by using Ditalini pasta. If you don’t have any of that, or can’t find any at your local store, substitute in small elbow macaroni or small shells.

The addition of chickpeas rounds out the nutrition in this dish a bit, giving it a kick of protein.

This is a great recipe to make one night and have for leftovers for lunch the next couple of days.

You can cook this in any pan that has relatively high sides, like a high sided frying pan or dutch oven. I just used my saucier and it fit nicely

Easy Puttanesca with Chickpeas

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Chickpeas, Pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • 1 28-oz. can San Marzano Style Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives coarsley chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. drained capers
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 basil sprigs
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry Ditalini Pasta
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Cracked black pepper


  • Pour tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl and use your hands to crush tomatoes. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large high-sided sauté pan, medium saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, anchovies, and chili flakes; cook, breaking up the anchovies with your spoon until they melt into the oil and the garlic starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook 2 more minutes to caramelize.
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 4 to 6 garlic cloves, 4 anchovy fillets, Pinch of chili flakes, 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • Add olives, capers, crushed tomatoes and their juices, salt, and basil sprigs; gently simmer mixture for 5 minutes.
    1 28-oz. can San Marzano Style Whole Peeled Tomatoes, 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, 1 Tbsp. drained capers, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 2 basil sprigs
  • Add 2 1/2 cups of water and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and reduce heat to a simmer.
    1 1/2 cups dry Ditalini Pasta, 2 1/2 cups water
  • Simmer, uncovered, stirring often to prevent pasta from sticking to the pan, until the pasta is al dente, about 12 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and cook 1 to 2 more minutes, until most of the liquid has reduced and you have a saucy pasta. Discard the basil sprigs, and finish with a few grinds of cracked black pepper.
    Cracked black pepper, 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • If desired, garnish each bowl with extra torn basil and a drizzle of good quality olive oil. Serve with crusty bread for sopping up extra sauce.

Substitutes for Anchovys in this recipe

The only challenging item in this recipe is likely going to be the anchovies. I’m sure they were/are common in Italy, but for most of us, we only get them in cans and if you open a can for 4 of them, you have a bunch of anchovies left over. Here are some options if you want to skip popping the top on a can of anchovies.

Anchovy Paste

Anchovy paste comes in a tube and in this recipe, you can substitute in 2 teaspoons of it for the canned anchovies. The great part is that the rest will keep in the fridge 6 months, or longer if you put the tube in the freezer between uses. Anchovy paste is also great for making a traditional Caesar salad dressing!

Worcestershire Sauce

You may not have known it, but Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies but in a less concentrated form. Use about 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to replace one anchovy fillet, so in this recipe use ~4 tsp in place of the anchovies.