Chickpea Pasta with Basil-Pea Pesto

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It’s pretty redundant to say that I love cooking. So much. But even though I find myself enamoured with some small detail of every meal that I make, this chickpea pasta was next-level emotional. In fact, was one of the few recipes I’ve made in my entire life that turned me into a wide-eyed child again, and reaffirmed my deep, unrelenting passion for creating food. Kneading the dough, rolling the pasta through this perfectly designed machine, seeing it transform before me, mysteriously almost nothing into so very much. I’m not ashamed to say it nearly brought me to tears. There is something about cooking – and cooking something so ancient – that delivers a feeling of satisfaction that can hardly be described. It’s entirely transcendental. And the best part? You get to eat it.

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It all started when one of my dear friends suggested making pasta out of chickpea flour and that she had seen a vegan version using ground flax seeds. I found the recipe and followed it, but it didn’t work, I tried again, and after another pretty epic fail where I felt totally out of my depth, I decided to go the classic egg route. Not only was it better, it was absolutely, unbelievably delicious. In fact, I could hardly trust that what I was eating was made from chickpea flour, since it tasted so much like the beloved white pasta of my past. How is this not a thing?!  It’s so easy and infinitely healthier, why isn’t everyone and their uncle Bob making pasta with chickpea flour?

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I made this pasta three time in a week and found the prefect al dente cook time, all kinds of things to dress it with (olive oil, Pecorino, black pepper – guh.), and that I could freeze it to come back later and pop a nest into boiling water for almost-instant dinner that even my three-year-old loves. Rejoice!

The only potential issue with using chickpea pasta like this is that since the chickpea flour is made from ground raw chickpeas, and some people who are sensitive to legumes may find this difficult to digest (i.e. lots of farts). I don’t know how to overcome this issue since sprouting the chickpeas, then dehydrating them, then grinding them seems like a whole lotta rigmarole, so I’m using chickpea flour and calling this an indulgence, like socca. If you know you have legume issues, I suggest purchasing sprouted chickpea flour, which is a little more challenging to find, but you can certainly buy it online.

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Now that I understand the correct moisture levels and consistency, I’m going to go back and try the vegan version again, perhaps using something other than flax this time. If any of you have had success, please let me know!

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Do you need a pasta machine for this recipe? Kind of. Unless you are very skilled at rolling out pasta by hand, I recommend picking one up (there’s always one at the second-hand store). Pasta machines are simple to use, and make this process very fast, fun, and satisfying. The one I have is pictured below (it’s Atlas brand #notsponsored), and it creates flat sheets that are perfect for lasagna or ravioli, or you can run the thin sheets through the spaghetti or tagliatelle roller, like I have done for this recipe.

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And there’s another recipe in this recipe, and that is for the delightful Basil-Pea Pesto. Herb-y, nutty, and bright, it’s a cinch to whip up and keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge, so you can make it ahead or use the potential leftovers for many delish things (it’s a great dip or sandwich spread). Use frozen peas if that’s all you have – no stress! And I like to use even more peas and basil to finish this dish off, so that it is even more satisfying with all the bright flavours and textures. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

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I’m currently on holidays in Canada and I’m going to keep this post short and sweet so that I can get back to all of my funky food projects, reading on the dock, and naps. So many naps. I hope you’re all having a glorious summer so far!

Big love,
Sarah B

Show my your pasta on Instagram: #mnrchickpeapasta

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Dear friends! I am getting SO excited about hosting my next wellness retreat in Ibiza, Spain, September 5-10 and September 17-23. And I’ve decided to offer the same program twice so that more of you can join in. This is going to be an intimate group of 12 women only, housed in a stunning, 400 year-old finca in the hills surrounded by fig trees, wild herbs and carob. Come join me for seven days of total inspiration and rejuvenation – delicious and healthy meals, cooking and nutrition workshops, yoga, pilates, dance, and meditation that will balance your body and mind, and empower you to move forward on a path to greater wellness. I can’t wait to see you there!

Click the image below to go to the retreat page or click here for the booking page at Supersoul Yoga: Week 1 (Sept. 5-10) or Week 2 (Sept. 17-23)

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62 comments

  1. Morgane

    For those of you who wanted a vegan version of this, I tried it with very finely ground flaxseeds and water in place of the eggs and it worked !!
    I didn’t even need to dust the pasta with flour it wasn’t sticky at all. I used just under 3 tbsp of flaxseeds which I ground in my blender until they were very, very fine, added them to a bowl with 8 and 1/2 tbsp of warm water and let that sit for about 5 minutes. Then I followed the instructions, except I salted the pasta water instead of the dough. You’ll have to knead the dough a bit more than if it had eggs in but it’ll work eventually.
    The tagliatelle seemed to require even less cooking time (fyi I also used a pasta machine on setting #6) I cooked mine 2 minutes in rapidly boiling water and they were overcooked (still delicious!). Next time I’ll try cooking them only for one minute. They were honestly delicious, I couldn’t taste the flax or the chickpeas, they pretty much just tasted like regular pasta !

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  8. Nada

    Hey Sarah, love your recipes and this one looks deeehlicious. I was wondering how you deal with gas from all the legumes? I’m struggling with all the bloating and gassiness that comes from eating lentils and especially chickpeas/beans. is there a trick to it?
    Have a great weekend!

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  11. Jenny

    THANK YOU for this fantastic and unique recipe. My husband and I are neither gluten-free nor vegan however we always are drawn to your gorgeous recipes. We may have polished off all “4-6 servings” in one sitting…

  12. Julie Lanham

    Made it, loved it! Got the boy to try it and he loved it too (with bacon..)
    This will get me back into making fresh pasta again.
    Thanks Sarah for your yummy recipes.
    Julie Lanham

  13. Beatrice

    Oh this looks so delicious! I am totally a sucker for anything with basil. I have tried making socca before, and it made for some really delicious homemade pizzas! I’ve never made chickpea pasta though, or pasta, for that matter! I really want to try this recipe and test out my pasta-making skills 🙂

  14. Julie Lanham

    Dear sarah,
    I have a great love for pasta and love, love homemade pasta. This pasta sounds A-mazing and will be on my weekend cooking list. I have a good feeling about this one…similar to the MNR classics and go to recipes- ‘Best Ever Lentil Salad’, ‘Happy Crackers’ and ‘Raw Choc Brownie’
    X

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  18. Sarah K

    Hello Sarah, this sounds perfect!!! Do you think it makes sense to use roasted chickpeaflour to make it more easily digestable? I found some online. Thanks for your answer!

  19. Alex

    So beautiful and summery-looking! I love the yellow color of that pasta.

    I’ve tried vegan pasta made with tofu in place of egg before and it was incredible. It had that great chewy texture and everything. Try it 🙂

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  21. Joanne Massingham

    The funny thing is, and I have not had a look at your blog for a month or two, and this is almost exactly what I made for dinner tonight! I was so surprised when I checked in with your blog later in the evening! The combination of peas, basil and lemon are delicious! I used slivered almonds instead of pine nuts as I prefer their flavour but other than that we were on the same page. Delicious! 🙂

  22. Catherine

    Thanks for the great idea! I wonder of it’s like with Jeruzalem artichokes, when you cook them with a spring of rosemary you stop the digestion issue! Worth a try when boiling the pasta with rosemary if it helps reduce the effects. Learn this from a Australian organic food supplier.

  23. A

    Sound super tasty!!

    I use my pasta maker when making chickpea nacho chips to get them thin enough and it works REALLY well for that!! Worth the shelf space!!!

  24. Kathleen Gasperini

    Hi this looks amazing. I need to get the pasta machine but I like the pesto recipe too. I’ve been cooking a ton of your recipes from your last book! It was such a pleasure meeting you. Kathleen from LA!

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  26. Ondina Maria

    Hi Sarah, do you reckon this recipe would also work in an automatic pasta machine? I’ll try doing it on the one I have at home and let you know the results. Oh, and thanks for this recipe, I’ve been looking for a decent gluten-free pasta recipe for ages!!!!!

  27. Casey

    I saw somewhere that psyllium husks are a pretty rad binder for GF pasta. I’ve not made pasta from scratch yet but a friend made me psyllium husks gnocchi that held together incredibly well. Could be worth an experiment!

  28. Yelda

    Sarah!
    I just was wondering if aquafaba wouldn’t be a try for a vegan version?
    Finns try this first and then with aquafaba too!

    Thanks for this! I am very excited to try it out!

  29. Jenna

    You. Are. Amazing!! I am for sure gonna try this. I’m a bit of a socca addict after making your recipe… (Ive actually forgetten I’ve made batter the day before and I’ll sit and wonder what’s in my fridge after a long day of feeding others, then when I remember, I literally skip to the kitchen yelling “pancakes!!” in a gleeful, five yr old kinda way). There was even maybe (definitely) joyful clapping of hands.
    Anyway – yay for you and your persistence because, PASTA!!!
    Fun fact: I attempted a chickpea gnocchi in culinary school and it was like eating lumps of sad, yellow dry wall. #majorfail
    Can’t wait to try this! And the pesto pea sauce. It’s like you know my food heart. And my food heart loves your food heart. In a food namaste kinda way. Xo

  30. SallyBR

    I am totally intrigued by this recipe, and if all goes well, I will try it this coming weekend…

    can you tell me if the taste is too strong, I mean, let’s suppose you were making it for a person who is not that into “alternative” pastas… would it please a picky eater?

    I realize you are in vacations, so no problem if you cannot answer me before the weekend. It is quite likely that am going to take the risk… 😉

  31. CindyMac

    Is there any way for you to add “Print With Photo” option for all of us out here? You photos are lovely and I like to have an image with my saved recipes so I have a vague idea of what it is I’m making. Please please please??? xoxoxo

  32. Lisa Larizadeh

    Oh yes! Please do let your vegan fans know when you find a workaround on the chickpea pasta… can’t wait to try it minus the eggs!

  33. Betsy

    This seems like a perfectly perfect place to substitute aquafaba for egg. I think that sounds like it would be far more successful than flax, if a bit less healthy.

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