Rustic Vegan Pasta with Cheesy Chickpea Crumble & Heirloom Tomatoes

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 1 vote

Rustic vegan pasta with late summer tomatoes and a savoury-crunchy topping made from chickpeas. Simple, healthy, and delicious plant-based dinner that has only 10 ingredients.

An overhead shot of a bowl of pasta with chopped tomatoes and a savoury crumble-like topping.
This post is sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada.
Two images show ingredients in a. food processor bowl and then a pulsed "meal" of chickpeas in a bowl with a spoon.
An overhead shot of purple opal basil in a perennial garden in dappled sunlight.
A 3/4 angle shot of a bowl of chopped, different coloured tomatoes.

I guess it’s time for my annual end-of-summer tomato recipe post? And somehow I always manage to squeeze in some chickpeas with my tomatoes (see here and here). It’s a relief to know that some things never change!

In the interest of total honesty, I’ve been in an epic cooking rut lately. Something about the abundance this time of year that has me going the simplest route possible. Lots of smoothies and bowl mash-ups that give us more time to enjoy that golden (and fleeting) September light.

It’s also a transitional time, which is a confusing, but also kind of comforting, duality. In the spirit of dressing in layers, I’m combining my foods for all the different temperatures and moods lately. With this recipe, peak season tomatoes simply marinate for a good portion of the day. This process forms the very rustic “sauce.” I top wide ribbons of pappardelle with the tomatoes and an incredibly savoury chickpea crumble.

Whenever I roast chickpeas to the point of crispy and brown, ideally I’m consuming them right away. Not the case here. You want that chew and slight dryness to be present. After they’ve roasted and cooled with some browned pine nuts, those chewy morsels are ground up into my new favourite version of vegan parmesan. I make batches of vegan parm every other week or so, but the base is usually 100% nuts and seeds. This version is a little more friendly on the wallet, and it naturally fits right in with the International Year of Pulses. I find myself craving it with almost everything.

So! To the rustic pasta, and cool evenings, the focus that seasonal shifts bring, and all the other good stuff of my favourite in-between season. Big hug this week.

4 images show: a bowl of whole grape tomatoes, a cutting board with chopped tomatoes on top, a plate with fresh pasta on top, and a white platter with the finished rustic vegan pasta.
An overhead shot of a platter of pasta with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, and a savoury crumble-like topping.
A 3/4 angle shot of a bowl of pasta with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, and a savoury crumble-like topping.

Rustic Pasta with Cheesy Chickpea Crumble & Heirloom Tomatoes

Rustic vegan pasta with late summer tomatoes and a savoury-crunchy topping made from chickpeas. Simple, healthy, and delicious plant-based dinner that has only 10 ingredients.
5 from 1 vote
rustic pasta with cheesy chickpea crumble and heirloom tomatoes - The First Mess
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinating Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 heaped pints of small tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 small clove of garlic finely grated
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves sliced + extra
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ cup raw pine nuts
  • 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 lb 454 grams fresh, store-bought pappardelle pasta (see note)


  • I purchased some fresh lasagna sheets and just cut those into the pappardelle, but you could certainly use dried as well.
  • If you want to double up on the chickpea goodness, you could even do this with a chickpea-based pasta like Banza.


  • Slice all of the small tomatoes in half or into bite-sized pieces. Transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl. Toss the tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Towel dry the chickpeas as thoroughly as possible, and transfer them to a baking sheet. Toss the chickpeas with the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Slide the tray into the oven and roast until slightly crisp and browned, about 12 minutes. Remove the chickpeas from the oven and scatter the pine nuts onto the baking sheet. Roast pine nuts and chickpeas another 4-6 minutes, or until pine nuts are browned. Allow chickpeas and pine nuts to cool completely.
  • In a food processor, combine the roasted chickpeas and pine nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, lemon zest, and salt to taste. Pulse until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Transfer cooked pasta to the bowl with the tomatoes and toss. Top the rustic pasta with the cheesy chickpea crumble mixture and extra sliced basil. Serve immediately. If you have leftover chickpea crumble, it keeps in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 4 days.

*This post was created in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!

21/09/2016 (Last Updated 12/07/2023)
Posted in: autumn, chickpeas, gluten free option, main course, pasta, quick, refined sugar-free, salty, side dish, sour, summer, tomatoes, umami, vegan


Recipe Rating

  • LB

    Made this tonight – the crumble is soooo good! Definitely snuck a few spoonfuls out of the jar before storing the rest :)

  • Allyson

    Wow this is beautiful. This vegan parm sounds fantastic- I can’t wait to give it a try.

  • Anna

    looks absolutely delicious!! Can’t wait to try it at home :D

  • Anya

    The chickpea parm sounds amazing, Laura! I’m going to try it out the next time I make pasta. Thanks so much for the idea :)

  • Julia

    Love the idea of that chickpea parmesan!

  • Jessie Snyder

    Woah. Are we on the same wavelength or whaaaat! I just wrote about the exact same in my post today. Cheers to this end of summer rut, and this brilliant idea of a chickpea crumble. I am so digging this Laura. Enjoy your noodle-y salads and chill smoothies this week girl. xx

  • Shannon

    Yay! This looks so yummy. Your posts always remind me to chill out about life – basically required reading at this point.

  • valentina | sweet kabocha

    This looks so gorgeous Laura!! I love broad pappardelle and that crunchy topping…amazing! xo

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker

    Another way to do a cheesy crumble? I’m IN! I have a feeling I’ll miss tomatoes once fall rolls around, but for now I’m embracing them!

  • Lindsey

    I couldn’t feel you more on feeling perhaps a bit overwhelmed by abundance this time of year, while also drinking/eating in all the effortlessness vibes too. That crumble is pure genius, and I’m sure is so awesome in this comforting pasta dish. xo’s!

  • Shilpa

    That crumble is genius! Trying it this weekend. It’s going to be 10 degrees cooler then. Definitely a shift in season. First day of fall tomorrow. Happy fall to you, Laura!

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout

    I love the way you describe your food changing with the seasons, I totally feel ya :) I am also drinking hot latteish drinks while sweating in a beam of golden sunlight, but it’s all worth it, riiight? Love this dish, it looks amazing AND that cheesy chickpea crumble is definitely getting made <3

  • Tori//Gringalicious

    This pasta looks incredible! I’m simply dying over all the flavors!


    Really cool idea…definitely trying this with the last batch of tomatoes from the garden. Thanks

  • Tuulia Talvio

    That cheesy chickpea crumble sounds genius!! And I’m always up for a good pasta :)

  • Julia @ HappyFoods Tube

    Oh my! I LOVE IT! Lately I’ve been trying to add chickpea to everything and anything so this is definitely a Must-Try recipe!