I have a back log of great meals to mention but this one jumped the queue. Not only is it delicious but it is one of those eating-out-of-the-pantry meals that come in handy. Last night I was tempted to order something in, but my husband – usually the first one to suggest delivery pizza – was the voice of reason. So we dug around and pulled out a can of chickpeas along with a can of diced tomatoes and a couple half-empty packages of pasta. Add an onion, some garlic and an interesting choice of spices and our meal was beginning to take shape.
What makes this dish really stand out is the cinnamon. Lately, I’ve been loving the combination of cinnamon with tomatoes – it adds a different twist and it really helps to make a simple, pantry meal come alive with flavour. There’s some chili powder in there to round things out and I threw in a stock cube because I really wanted to add in some chicken stock but I didn’t have any on hand. The stock cube along with the olive oil (more olive oil than I would normally add in), gave this meal richness.
I happily ate the leftovers for lunch today. Sadly, the only photos I have of this dish are of my lunchtime leftovers. So please don’t be put off my the shoddy pics – because this meal is fantastic. This is great topped with feta and I’m sure even better with fresh parsley or dill.
elsewhere: Looking for an easy muffin recipe? Try these yogurt berry muffins over at Poppytalk.
mediterranean tomato sauce with chickpeas
3 T olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can of diced tomatoes
a pinch of kosher salt & a good grind of black pepper
1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
1 t mexican chili powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1 can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
feta cheese (optional)
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add in the tomatoes, crumbled stock cube, chili powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon and chickpeas. Let simmer until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with feta cheese if desired.
I love chickpeas, and why hadn’t I thought of putting them on pasta? I wonder how sumac would be with this; the only time I ever use it is on hummus.
Totally making this for dinner tonight.
OMG, too funny emvandee – because after I ate it today I thought the same thing. Yes to sumac! Give it a try!!
I think I’ve dug through my kitchen cupboards a few times before and ended up with something similar to this. Never would have thought to add cinnamon though, sounds good!
I have made this meal!! Or something very similar…because those items are a constant in my pantry, and I am forever behind on my grocery shopping! I’m going to have to remember cinammon and mexican chili powder!
PS. When I originally typed that statement I wrote “because those items are a constant in my PANTY.” Good thing I did some proof-reading…
I made a cinnamon infused tomato sauce last year and to date, it is the best tomato sauce I’ve ever had! Love this dish!
Me too, Jacqui! But it is the cinnamon that takes this to another level of awesomeness!
Hahahaha, too funny, pcwg!!
Joanne, too true – I believe it. I made a version with meatballs and dill and it was amazing too. What can’t cinnamon do?
Oh this sounds like my kind of meal! I love chickpeas and this sauce with the cinnamon sounds delicious! There’s a Greek recipe for meat sauce as a topping for pasta which includes ground beef, cinnamon, some whole cloves and lots of garlic, onions and tomato paste/sauce. The smell alone is intoxicating! This meal although quite different reminds me of that Greek fragrant meat sauce.
Too funny—I *just* wrote a post about how my favorite pantry meal is chickpeas cooked in diced tomatoes, though rather than tossing it with pasta I usually top it with a poached egg. (And I usually go spicy-spicy rather than cinnamon-spicy, though I sure do love cinnamon with tomato sauce).
I’ll definitely have to try the pasta addition next time, though I’m not sure I can give up my egg!
This sounds and looks perfect to me! YUM! I love chickpeas in just about anything!
I love chick peas. My mom says even when I was a kid it was the first think I put on my late at a buffet, along with some cottage cheese and jello of course. I have never tried tomato sauce with cinnamon but I know it is pretty traditional in Greek cooking. I will have to give it a try.
That looks great, and I love that you put it together from stuff in the pantry!
This looks so light and perfect for the spring! And simple to make too 🙂
I love chickpeas in tomato sauce but don’t really ever do that. Nor cinnamon! Sounds perfect for a weeknight.
Yum, this sounds great and super easy to make. I’ll have to try it.
deelish! i love chickpeas in any kind of tomatoey sauce…such a match made in heaven!
Bijoux, yes, I think this is a very Greek thing – the cinnamon + tomato sauce. It’s wonderful!!
Meister, add an egg on it! It would be wonderful too 🙂
I’m the same way, Sarena.
Give it a try, Carlee, it’s delicious.
It’s pretty obvious with the mis-matched pasta shapes, eh Cookie pie? Oh well! Delicious none the less!!
Kimberley, it is. Quick and delicious – the perfect recipe for a weeknight meal.
Thanks Colene & Alana!
Ok, another win. Also works for a Sunday night meal! Made this last night after I came in at 6:30 after spending time in the garden and not really thinking ahead to dinner. I went straight to your site for inspiration and got it first click!
I added spinach at the end (yummy taste and colour). We had a Mexican chili rub on hand, which seemed to work just fine. Great with the feta. Vegetarian daughter happy.
Next time, if I have my act together and have some sitting around, I would use some homemade paneer. Nothing makes me feel more pro in the kitchen than saying, “I can make cheese!”
Thanks again for your quick, sane, healthy ideas 🙂
This would really be good right now…
sigh..need to go home and cook!
I love it when a last-minute throw together meal turns out to be so stellar! I’ve never tried the tomato-cinnamon combo. Now you’ve got me curious.
I just made one of my favorite Moroccan soups that has chickpeas and pasta in it and that magical cinnamon! It is a inspired combo and I think I would like it even better without the liquid and more like what you have going on here!
I love it. I have a few cans of chick peas in my cabinet that are in desperate need of a purpose, other than a salad topper.
This was *excellent*! You’re right – the cinnamon really did make this sauce special. What made it so wonderful is that I had just soaked and cooked a whole bag of chickpeas, so I had them in the fridge…had the tomatoes from a jar I had opened up but didn’t totally use…even had the feta. What more could you ask for?! I totally loved this dinner and my 5yo son did too. Thanks for all the great recipes you bring my way!
Jan, i’m so happy to hear that you loved this meal! I love the idea of adding spinach – if I had any at the time, I certainly would have added it too 🙂
Lynn, I know! I love when that happens. As for the cinnamon, go for it!
Oooh, Dana, I’ll have to check it out on your site! It is a magical combo.
Megan, get at it;)
Christine, so glad to hear it! Who knew what an impact cinnamon could have? Glad you and your son loved this meal.
I smiled reading this as it’s so completely my go-to quick meal…I always feel like pasta needs a little protein so I generally toss in some chickpeas, some parmesan and red pepper flakes and call it a day. Yours, I must say, looks a bit more sophisticated–love the idea of cinnamon. Can’t wait to give it a go. Thanks, Jeanette!
What a great recipe for those with little time. Cheap to make too, perfect for a busy and poor student like me!
Megan, hooray for go-to meals. The cinnamon is very chi-chi, so try it out with your next glass of bubbly!
Lucy, this is ideal for anyone on a budget – or an empty cupboard.
I have been obsessed with chickpeas! This sounds delicious:)!
These are fantastic, PGF. Hope you try it out!
Hmm I’ve been wary of adding cinnamon to tomatoey dishes since using this really cinnamony garam masala. But I should give it another chance!
Wow! I made this last night. It was so easy to put together (I only bake, never cook), and it tasted so delicious! I had the leftover sauce this morning with two poached eggs on top and that was amazing as well. Thanks for such an awesome, and simple, recipe!