The Quintessential "I don't want to cook" Meal
When you can't eat any more ham, this recipe will save you 🌞
Happy Saturday and Happy Almost Easter! I’m sure many of you are gearing up for a gorgeous spread of ham and lamb and carrot cake and way too many Cadbury creme eggs (or if you’re like me, you’ll be eating malt robin eggs until you’re sick). Save this post for next week when you’ve had your fill of ham and are ready for an easy, vegetarian meal that requires very little effort.
This meal is the quintessential “I don’t want to cook” dinner, and I know this because I developed it when I didn’t want to cook. I almost…ALMOST…opted to eat tortilla chips all night, but instead, I begrudgingly got off my couch and into my kitchen to make dinner.
The result? The easiest pantry pasta that I couldn’t get enough of. Don’t fuss over this one too much. I used farfalle because I had half a box in my cupboard, but use up any random pasta you have in your stuffed away pantry. Penne, rigatoni, orzo, or fusilli would be great. But you could also use linguine or spaghetti. Heck, throw some ravioli or tortellini in the sauce, and you’ve got yourself a party.
If you don’t have vodka (yes, I’ve been drinking espresso martinis…), skip it. You could also use white wine instead. If skipping the vodka, add a little extra water or veggie stock to the sauce.
Cream adds a nice richness to this pasta, but omit it if you want to lighten it up. If you have fresh herbs, like parsley or basil, throw them on top! I only had Thai basil, but the fragrant, anise-like undertones worked beautifully with the tomato sauce.
The full recipe is below, and the downloadable print-friendly PDF (for paid subscribers only) follows the written instructions.
Tried & True Recipes is a reader-supported publication. To receive new recipes and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Chickpea and Pasta alla Vodka
Cook time: 30 minutes
8 ounces (half a box) of your favorite pasta, like farfalle, fusilli, or rigatoni
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled, halved, and sliced into half-moons
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, more or less to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
⅓ cup vodka or white wine
½ cup water, plus more as needed
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
14.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained
¼ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil or parsley, optional, for serving
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional, for serving
Cook the pasta:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add a generous pinch of salt along with the pasta. Cook until 1–2 minutes shy of al dente. Scoop out ⅓ cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
Prepare the sauce:
Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Melt the butter into the onions. Once bubbly, add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add the tomato paste and cook, mashing it into the onions, for 3–4 minutes until it begins to deepen in color and stick to the bottom of the pot. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
Pour in the vodka and bring the sauce to a boil. Stir in the water, sun-dried tomatoes, and chickpeas. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, adding water as needed if the liquid evaporates too quickly.
Sauce the pasta:
After the sauce finishes simmering, taste and just the seasonings to your preference.
Pour in the heavy cream and turn the heat to medium. As soon as the sauce bubbles, add the cooked pasta and toss to coat for 2 minutes. Next, add the pasta cooking water to loosen up the sauce to your preferences. Once the pasta is completely coated, turn off the heat. Taste and season once more.
Spoon the pasta onto a serving platter and garnish with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
The print-friendly PDF is below! If you aren’t a paid subscriber, sign up for a free trial to get access to exclusive recipes and printable PDFs.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Tried & True Recipes to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.