Chickpea Pasta & Basil Balsamic Marinara

This is my go to weekday recipe. You can never go wrong with comforting spaghetti & marinara, and this recipe means lunch or dinner in under 30 minutes.

Included is my homemade marinara sauce recipe, that I added a dash of balsamic to this time. The sweetness and tanginess of balsamic vinegar works so well with tomatoes that are also inherently sweet and tangy.


Talking about pasta, if you can find Eat Banza near you, do give them a try. They’re a healthier alternative to regular pasta, still comforting, just more nutritiously balanced.

They’ve certainly cracked the code on making pasta healthier without sacrificing flavor, texture or the mouth feel of traditional pasta. Made with few plant-based ingredients (chickpeas, tapioca, and pea protein), they strike the perfect balance of really good and really good for you!  (Not an ad, and I have no affiliation with them, just a fan!)  More here if you’re interested.

Now let’s get cooking!

Ingredients for Marinara Sauce:
makes ~4 cups
1 28oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes
8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt

Ingredients for the whole dish:
serves 4
1 box chickpeas spaghetti (I used Eat Banza)
~3 cups balsamic marinara sauce (homemade recipe above)
1 cup vegan parmesan (I use ‘Follow your Heart’)
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 tsp red chilli flakes (optional)
a few fresh basil leaves, hand torn

Making Marinara:
Into a large mixing bowl, pour the entire can of san marzano tomatoes. Use your hands to crush the tomatoes them into small chunks. Add 1/2 cup of water into the tomato can and pick up all the remaining tomato juices, and set aside this water.

In a wide bottomed pan, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat for 10 seconds. Then add sliced garlic. As soon as garlic starts sizzling, about 15 seconds, add the crushed tomatoes and mix well.

Add dried basil, and reserved tomato water. Bring to a boil first, and lower the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.

Add oregano,  balsamic vinegar and salt. Stir well together, and let simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

This is ready to serve as is over your favorite pasta with some fresh basil over the top! Or you could also add in any veggies of your choice.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add a handful of salt. Drop in pasta, and cook pasta per package instructions, minus 2 minutes. My box of spaghetti called for 8 minutes; and I took them off heat at 6 minutes, drained and set aside.

In a large pot, add 3 cups of the homemade marinara, and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well together and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of water if needed, to loosen the sauce.

Add red chilli flakes. Toss together, and continue simmering for another 5 minutes.

Gently add the cooked spaghetti in, toss well together until the pasta is coated well with sauce. The pasta cooks more in the sauce at this stage, and will end up being perfectly al dente when served.


Add a couple of handfuls of vegan parmesan cheese, and mix well.


Pile high on a plate, sprinkle more fresh basil on top, and enjoy!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s