I have written before about pantry dinners: jewishexponent.com/2022/05/25/pantry-dinners/ — those “fake it ‘til you make it” meals that one conjures up with few ingredients and little time.
I saw a version of this recipe recently when scrolling, and I recalled it the other night when dinner time approached. The best description of the dish would be pizza meets shakshuka meets chana masala. Like shakshuka, the base is a spicy tomato sauce. Like chana masala, chickpeas are briefly simmered in it and, like pizza, it involves melted cheese over the top.
The flavor profiles can be altered based on personal tastes and your pantry — if you love Indian cooking, season this with curry powder, ginger and chili powder, and top it with paneer. More of an Italian palate? Go with garlic, oregano and mozzarella cheese. Feeling Mexican? Add cumin and chipotle, and top it with jack cheese.
Serve the dish with a slab of crusty bread (or naan or tortillas) and whatever produce you have around — a simple salad, some sautéed greens or steamed veggies.
“Stone Soup” Cheesy Chickpeas
1 teaspoon oil
Pinch of salt, sprinkle of pepper, sprinkle of crushed red pepper
½ an onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon oregano
15-ounce can crushed tomato (or tomato puree or diced tomatoes)
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
½ cup mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, heat the oil with the seasonings, onions and garlic. Sauté until fragrant.
Add the crushed tomatoes, and bring it to a simmer. Add the chickpeas, and simmer. Cook until slightly thickened (tomatoes will reduce slightly).
Heat the broiler. Sprinkle the cheeses over the mixture, and place the skillet under the broiler until the cheese melts and begins to brown. Serve immediately.