Chickpea & Roasted Red Pepper Penne

I can’t find anything bad to say about this pantry meal. I made it one night accidentally, when I was craving a light pasta dish with maybe a little sundried tomato and some fresh artichoke, neither of which my local Associated Market had. It was getting late, and I didn’t feel up for walking much farther than a block. It had just begun to rain. So dismayed and with lowered expectations as I was, I wandered into my corner bodega and picked out one can and one jar from its shelves. (The very nice couple who own the store, and greet me as their neighbor, must be becoming accustomed to this habit of mine, roaming around their tiny aisles in indecision.) As luck would have it, a better fate had been planned for my dinner, because I ended up with a completely delicious and unexpectedly smoky dish in this chickpea and roasted red pepper combination.

Though I was using a dry chardonnay in its light sauce, if I didn’t have that on hand I would likely have given it a go with a little stock (chicken or vegetable) and a spray of lemon for some fresh tang that doesn’t come in a can. Either way, now I know I’ll never be left gastronomically unsatisfied in the midst of an apocalypse as long as there was a friendly bodega nearby.

I might add that though I had such a hard time finding sundried tomatoes, jars of roasted red peppers were so ubiquitous that they could be found in two separate aisles, from several different brands in my small grocery store, and as mentioned, in the corner bodega. I haven’t experimented with them enough to know what to really look for in a jar, so any suggestions are welcome.

bubbling away

the penne gets a colorful new coat

Chickpea & Roasted Red Pepper Penne
(makes 2 servings)

1/2 box of penne, cooked al dente
1/2 15.5 oz can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2-3 roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped (jarred ones are fine, which I used, or you can roast and peel fresh peppers)
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tb olive oil
1 Tb butter (or extra 1 Tb olive oil)
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Grated parmesan for garnish
A few basil leaves or parsley for garnish (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil with shallot and garlic until it becomes fragrant. Add the chickpeas and roasted red peppers, season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir 2-3 minutes. Add wine and stir until bubbly. Turn heat to medium and let liquid reduce to about 1/2. Add penne and stir in additional tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle in parmesan and basil or parsley. Serve immediately.

Cost Calculator:
(for 2 servings)

1/2 box penne (at $1.29/box): $0.65
1/2 15.5 oz can chickpeas (at $0.79/can): $0.40
1 shallot: $0.20
1 clove garlic: $0.03
3/4 cup white wine: about $1.30
3 Tb olive oil: $0.20
1/4 cup grated parmesan: $0.40
Salt, pepper, 2-3 basil leaves (from my plant): $0.05

Total: $3.23

Health Factor:

Four brownie points. I watched Iron Chef America: Battle Chickpea a couple of days after making this dish and wondered, where in the hell did they get fresh chickpeas? So true as it is that canned and jarred foods aren’t as nutritious for you as fresh versions, the ingredients in this quick and convenience store-friendly dish are still virtuous. Chickpeas are a great source of protein low in calories, and roasted red peppers still hold their weight in vitamins C and A, as their color might suggest — albeit fresh ones would be much better for you. I barely used any salt in this recipe because one thing cans and jars do have a monstrous capacity to increase is an item’s sodium content.

15 Responses

  1. Kalyn

    I do think it sounds delicious! I use the roasted red peppers in a jar quite often. Ok, I admit I’m just too lazy to roast my own, although I’m going to try it someday. But the ones in the jar are really good in a lot of things. In Utah I buy a brand called Dunbars, which are quite inexpensive. I’ve tried a few brands, and they seem to be pretty consistently good.

  2. rachel

    I had an awful time finding sundried tomatoes a while back as well. They come packed in oil (near peppers) or just dried in a bag (near produce or raisins).

  3. Dave

    This looks so good that I’ve bookmarked it amd am going to try it this week.

  4. Eliane

    Mmm I love chickpeas! Especially as Indian daal (spicy chickpea puree) with naan bread. Perhaps you could find fresh chickpeas at a South Asian market/provision store if there are some around the city?

  5. Julia

    Hi-this looks delicious, as do many of your recipes. I used to work at the food co-op in the East Village and they had dried chickpeas. Anyone can shop there, it’s a little gem.

  6. Yvo

    I just made a chickpea salad last night… using up my one and only can. As for the roasted red peppers-brand (if that’s what you were asking?) – there’s one brand I was buying but only because the name looks familiar, and they’ve been doing me alright (I’m not a huge fan, but the BF is and hasn’t complained about them). I reserve what it’s packed in and use that for dressings or marinades though and it’s delicious!

    PS Do you read Grocery Guy? He was recently or might still be doing something… I forget what he called it, but it was basically going down to the bodega, picking up some stuff and cooking with just that and what he already had at home. Good stuff. This reminded me of that 🙂

  7. Jason Truesdell

    Some of those Eastern European import brands of roasted red peppers are pretty inexpensive, but most of what I can buy is in the slightly stratospheric price range… if you have a gas stove, or a little gas konro/camping stove, or, in a pinch, even a broiler, you can roast the peppers yourself… this time of year, fresh bell peppers are pretty cheap, so it’s worth doing. (I made some myself last week, in fact).

    That defeats the whole pantry-ready ingredients thing, of course, but once peeled, they do last a week or so in the refrigerator, possibly longer if drenched in cheap olive oil.

  8. […] Chickpea & Roasted Red Pepper Penne from Not Eating Out in New York (a practice I engage in quite often myself) looks dead simple and […]

  9. The TriniGourmet

    yumm 🙂 have bookmarked to try 😉

  10. Jennifer

    Tried this out tonight… quite good! After taking a few bites at the table, though, we decided something was missing. Grabbed our dried red pepper out of the spice rack (the REALLY hot stuff), and shook about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp on each of two plates. It turned the meal from a good decent meal to a GREAT one! Thanks for the recipe.

  11. maria

    I made this tonight. I improvised-had no shallots, but I had an extra leek and a small onion- and I added a small chopped chili. Very yummy.

  12. […] (based on this recipe:  source) […]

  13. Cole Maggi

    love it eat shit

  14. Gilberto Makuch

    love it your a theaf bitch

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