Pasta w/ Chickpeas, Anchovies & Crumbs

Is it Monday? No, but I am making a vegetarian dish again.....sorry carnivores.

This is my new favorite easy weeknight dinner.
I had all the staples in my pantry and the parsley is still alive on the driveway, so I was all set.

Since it is getting darker earlier now, my photos will not be as fabulous (as if), so I apologize in advance for the next few months, you will be seeing real dinner time photos, no studio here. :)

Please make homemade breadcrumbs for this recipe.

It's easy. Take some good quality bread that has gone stale and pulse it in a food processor when you have absolutely nothing else to do.
Place the crumbs in large containers and freeze them. You will be so happy you did this later on. I added the herbs from the last of the garden and have a large stash for the lean months ahead (yeah, because it's so difficult to find bread in the winter?).

If you are an anchovy hater, then skip this recipe, because the anchovies are an important ingredient here. I have spoken.

Pasta w/ Ceci, Anchovies & Breadcrumbs (adapted from Canal House Cooking Italian):
serves 4

1 can of chickpeas (ceci), rinsed and drained
5 whole anchovies (I use the kind in the jar)
big shake of hot red pepper flakes
2 big cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 box (8 oz.) pasta shells or orechiette
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3/4 cup of toasted fresh breadcrumbs
handful of fresh chopped parsley

Toast up the breadcrumbs in a skillet w/ olive oil for a few minutes, and set aside.

While the pasta is boiling, make your sauce.

In a large skillet, big enough to hold the pasta, heat olive oil, anchovies, garlic, hot pepper flakes and tomato paste on medium heat for 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant and anchovies are dissolved.

Add chickpeas and coat with the oil. Season with salt & pepper.
Add fresh parsley and turn off the heat. Set aside.

Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the chickpea mixture in the skillet. Throw in the breadcrumbs and give a toss.

Serve immediately.

This was easy and excellent.


(*PS I was just informed in the comment section by my friend Dana, that anchovies are NOT vegetarian....oops, I knew that!, so I guess we can forget about the Meatless Wednesday post!....make it anyway!).

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Christine said…
This looks/sounds delicious! I never noticed anchovies in a jar, only tins. Any difference and what did you mean by "the anchovies dissolved"? I've only cooked with anchovy paste. Do they really somehow just melt in or do you help them by mashing?
Stacey Snacks said…
The anchovies in the jar are usually salt cured (preserved in salt) and last a good long time (unlike the canned ones). I like the ones from Sicily, but they are pricey.

Yes, the anchovies actually MELTS in a second or two, as soon as it hits the hot oil. Try it!

Carole said…
Don't you love Canal House cookbooks? I'll have to look for anchovies in a jar. Thanks for the tip.
Dana said…
*Knock Knock* This is the vegetarian police. Anchovies are not vegetarian. They have a face, small as it might be. That is all. No fine this time.
Stacey Snacks said…
I just put a disclaimer at the bottom that anchovies have a face.
I knew that! xo
Anonymous said…
I think Ms. Treat won THIS debate, Ms. Snacks! Still, I'm busy rummaging for that stray tube of anchovy paste in the back of my fridge - this pasta looks delicious. Thanks for putting a smile on my little face today, ladies!
Well I like anchovies and I'm definitely gonna try this recipe. This is great for keeping my weight down during the fall.
Marie said…
My jarred ones are also in oil...and the magic, melting anchovy is a thing of beauty :-)
Joanne said…
I always THINK I hate anchovies but they really do add a little something special to a dish. Extra oomph. :)
Catherine said…
Anchovies - they aren't meat so technically you are still having a meatless meal. It's like the Catholics having fish on Fridays!
Anonymous said…
Made this for dinner. Delish. Its going into the rotation as a quick go-to meal.
Anonymous said…
Anchovy paste also comes in a tube just like tomato paste. Use a couple of squirts and toss back in the frig. No waste.
I love anything with shells. Anything. and anchovie. Ahhh. When Beau was a little guy he used to call them anchobies. Now when I use them I smile - big. I'll try this and soon. Thanks Stacey. Have a great weekend.
Unknown said…
If you want to make it vegetarian but still retain the saltiness that anchovies provide, opt for black olives.
Sara said…
Hi, I've ended up on this blog before, funny to land here again! (Great minds?) Anyway, I'm making this tonight and was curious to see what the web had to say. Fear not, I have breadcrumbs in the freezer and it would never occur to me to skip the anchovies.