Chickpea Pasta with Chili-Butter Tomato Sauce

Post sponsored by Barilla. See below for more details.

When it comes to the winter months, I always crave pasta. For the most part, It’s an easy dinner to get done in 30 minutes and it’s easy to please even the pickiest eater. Because of this, I’m excited to team of with Barilla and highlight their line of legume-based pasta (available on Amazon).

Canned Tomatoes, Winter necessity

When I went to make breakfast in a kitchen that was fairly low on ingredients, I managed to drum up a canned of tomatoes. I had a few eggs and realized that with those two items I could make a stellar breakfast. This is just one reason why I suggest always keeping a can of tomatoes on hand- so many meals can be made from this humble ingredient.

This tomato sauce is direct inspiration from Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce. It’s magic, seriously. Cooking the tomatoes for so long in butter and, in my case, shallots and chilis creates an rich and multi-dimensional sauce. It is the ultimate winter tomato sauce.

Barilla Chickpea Rotini Pasta

The market for alternative pasta has come a long way and I love that you can now get quality products in most grocery stores. Barilla just launched two types of legume pasta using red lentil and chickpea flour. Barilla’s line of chickpea pasta is made from only chickpea flour but holds together like regular pasta.

A little heat

I love a little heat to my meals but not so much that you can’t actually taste the flavor of the dish. For this chili tomato sauce, I chose to use New Mexico chilis which have a nice flavor and a medium-ish level of heat (primarily referring to the red chili peppers, not Hatch chilis).

If you can’t find dried chili peppers, use about ½ to 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. The flavor won’t be quite the same but the desired effect will work.

Make it vegan

Obviously I love the butter in this recipe but given the chickpea rotini is gluten-free, it’s easy to make a vegan/gluten-free dish. Swap the butter for a good olive oil. You want an olive oil that is fresh and has good flavor since it will be a big component of the overall tomato sauce flavor. Then leave off the parmesan or swap it for a vegan parmesan.

Chickpea Pasta with Chili-Butter Tomato Sauce | Naturally Ella


Chickpea Pasta with Chili-Butter Tomato Sauce


¼ cup butter

3 large shallots, minced

3 to 4 dried New Mexico chilis, chopped/broken into small pieces

1, 28oz can of stewed tomatoes

½ to 1 teaspoon sea salt

½ cup vegetarian-friendly parmesan, Shaved

1 package Barilla Chickpea Rotini


  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter and let melt. Stir in the minced shallots, chilis, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the shallots are tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • To the shallot mixture, add in the stewed tomatoes. Turn the heat to low and let cook until the tomatoes are broken down and the sauce has thickened considerably, 45 to 60 minutes.
  • When the sauce is close to being done, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Barilla Chickpea Rotini and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and put back in the pot. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss until well combined. Serve with shaves of parmesan as desired.


The tomato pasta is based on the idea from Marcella Hazan’s 3-ingredient tomato sauce.

Keywords: chili tomato sauce, chickpea pasta

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Barilla. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week.


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