Chick Peas with Zucchini and Tomato

Preparation info

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Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Marie grew up eating a vegetable side dish of zucchini, onion, celery, and tomato cooked to an almost stewlike consistency that her mother and grandmother called ciambotta, although, evidently, there are many dialect names and spellings for this dish throughout southern Italy. Marie re-created the dish from memory, adding chick peas and chopped green olives. It’s almost hearty enough to be a meal. Serve it with white rice or orzo, the rice-shaped pasta.


  • cups diced (½ inch) onion
  • 1 rib celery, diced (½ inch)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 can (19 ounces) chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cut-up canned Italian plum tomatoes, with juice
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano or thyme leaves or a pinch of dried oregano or thyme
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small zucchini, diced (½ inch)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pitted green olives


    1. Combine the onion, celery, garlic, olive oil, and water in a large nonstick skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes.
    2. Add the chick peas, tomatoes, parsley, tomato paste, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, covered, 10 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and olives. Cover and cook until zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, warm, or chilled.