Chick Peas in Chunky Tomato Sauce over Couscous

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

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

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Chick peas are often included in Moroccan meat and vegetable tagines, or stews, served over couscous. Here in the United States, couscous is most readily available in a quick-cooking form, which is partially precooked. Couscous is an excellent protein, and adapts readily to all sorts of sauces and preparations.


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • cups chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 can (19 ounces) chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) Italian-style plum tomatoes, with juices
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups boiling water, or more, as needed
  • 1 package (10 ounces) couscous ( cups)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)


    1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 1 tablespoon water. Heat, stirring, until mixture is heated through. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring often, until the onion is golden and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
    2. Add the chick peas, oregano, thyme, and red pepper and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until heated through. Add the tomatoes and stir, crushing them with a spoon. Cook, stirring, until the mixture boils. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat, until the tomato sauce is thickened and the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes.
    3. Add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Add more dried red pepper, if desired.
    4. Pour the boiling water into a shallow bowl. Slowly stir in the couscous and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover with a plate and let stand until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. If couscous seems dry add more boiling water.
    5. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the chopped garlic in a small skillet over low heat and heat, stirring, just until the garlic begins to sizzle. Remove from the heat. When the couscous is ready, drizzle the garlic oil over the couscous and fluff with a fork. To serve, spoon the couscous into a shallow bowl or deep platter. Ladle the tomato and chick pea mixture over the top. Serve with grated cheese, if desired.