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Pasta Shells with Chickpeas, Fennel, Tomatoes & Prosciutto

Rita Maas

Servings: four.

Prosciutto can be salty, so taste it before you add the entire amount. I find that good-quality canned chickpeas work just fine in this recipe.


  • 4 salt-packed anchovies, boned and rinsed (or 8 oil-cured anchovies)
  • 16 large basil leaves, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. medium-size ribbed pasta shells
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (or canned, rinsed)
  • 1 small bulb fennel, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters or eighths, depending on size
  • 1/4 lb. sliced prosciutto, cut into wide strips
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 850
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 230
  • Fat (g): 26
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16
  • Cholesterol (mg): 35
  • Sodium (mg): 1390
  • Carbohydrates (g): 118
  • Fiber (g): 11
  • Protein (g): 36


  • Finely chop the anchovies, basil, and garlic and transfer to a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the shells. When the pasta is almost al dente, add the chickpeas to warm them. As soon as the pasta is al dente, drain it and the chickpeas well. Pour the olive-oil mixture into the pot, add the pasta and chickpeas, and toss thoroughly with the fennel, tomatoes, and prosciutto. Season with pepper and let the pasta rest for 3 to 5 minutes, loosely covered. Toss with the grated Parmigiano, if you like, and serve.


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