A spicy, vegetarian version of my favorite puttanesca sauce goes gluten free when served over a bed of creamy, parmesan polenta.

Chickpea Puttanesca over Creamy Polenta

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to the holidays this year. No really, I am. It will be the first time in over 12 years that I won’t be cooking for clients during Christmas and New Years. 12 years! Do you believe that? For twelve + years I’ve worked on Christmas. And New Years and every day in between. I’ve been so blessed to have such great clients and up until this year I’ve been happy to cook for them but since having kids, it’s gotten harder and harder to be away. I usually end up feeling guilty on top of being stressed from working so much and the two combined is a lethal combo. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I don’t know what it’s like to have a holiday season where I’m not constantly rushed, running and gunning, only to never really get ahead.

Chickpea Puttanesca over Creamy Polenta

I know in part it’s because I’m usually working so much coupled with the fact that the kids are out of school, an endless traveling husband, umpteen holiday parties, a mile long shopping list, and hosting family… it’s impossible not to feel stressed out. (Just talking about it makes me sweaty.) This year I vow that things will be different. I will say no to the things I feel obligated to and only say yes to the things that I want to. I will put a priority on spending time with my kids rather than shopping in a crowded store for the newest and latest gadget. I WILL SLOW DOWN.

Chickpea Puttanesca over Creamy Polenta

It’s inevitable that I will spend a lot of time in the kitchen- it is what I do after all. But I hope that when hosting friends and family, I can take a less is more approach and keep things simple. One of my favorite things to make when I’m entertaining during the holidays is Italian. It’s quick, filling (great for hungry skiers!) and I can usually whip something up from what I have in the pantry. When Del Monte® challenged me to come up with a holiday inspired recipe that relied on one of their garden quality™ products from the pantry, I knew immediately I wanted to make a puttanesca. It’s my favorite red sauce and I almost always have the ingredients on hand.

Chickpea Puttanesca over Creamy Polenta

Canned tomatoes very well might be my favorite pantry item of all time. The versatility is unparalleled- like the Beyonce of the vegetable world. Del Monte® tomatoes are California grown, and are picked and canned usually within the same day. Studies show that because of the canning process, canned tomatoes are actually higher in antioxidants and vitamins than fresh. Cha-ching! It’s like a garden in your pantry but without all the weeding and watering! The stewed tomatoes with garlic and oregano are perfect for this recipe. Combined with sautéed onion, garlic, capers, kalamata olives, and a pinch of chili flakes, this is literally done in 20 minutes. Easily doubled and great for a crowd, this is a great go to recipe for making the holidays less stressful. This particular puttanesca gets a kick of protein from canned garbanzo beans. Instead of the usual pasta, I opted for a creamy, parmesan laden polenta. Even my meat eating husband approved!

Chickpea Puttanesca over Creamy Polenta

The great folks at Del Monte® have recently launched a new label design and are hoping to spread the word on how easy it is to build a garden in your pantry with their canned fruits and vegetables. As a little incentive, they’re also giving away a $100 gift certificate to Crate and Barrel to one lucky reader. Hello, holiday shopping! (I’ll gladly send you my wish list if you’re wanting to get me a present. Just saying.) All you have to do for a chance to win is tell me in the comment section below what your favorite fruit or vegetable to stock in your pantry is. If you want some more pantry inspiration, visit the Del Monte® Facebook page for more recipes and information. Here’s to a less stressful holiday season, everyone. Happy cooking!!

Chickpea Puttanesca over Polenta

Yield: 4


  • Polenta:
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons half and half
  • Chickpea Puttanesca:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2-3 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 1 (14 oz) can Del Monte® Stewed Tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 1 (14 oz) can Del Monte® Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • 1 (14 oz) can garbanzo beans
  • fresh basil (optional)


    For the Polenta:
  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Slowly stir in polenta and salt. Bring back to a boil and then immediately turn to low and let polenta simmer about 30-40 minutes. Add a tablespoon or two of water if polenta gets too thick.
  2. Off heat, stir in parmesan cheese, butter and half and half. Check for seasoning and add a pinch of salt if desired. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. For Puttanesca Sauce:
  4. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the kalamata olives and capers and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  6. Add both cans of tomatoes and simmer until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 20 minutes.
  7. Add garbanzo beans, and adjust seasoning to taste.
  8. Divide polenta between 4 plates and top with puttanesca sauce. Garnish with basil if desired.


Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

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 c: Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/18/2013-12/18/2013

Be sure to visit the Del Monte® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers reviews and find more chances to win!

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125 Responses to Chickpea Puttanesca over Creamy Polenta + $100 Crate and Barrel Giveaway!

  1. Gina Saunders says:

    Thanks, Kelley. This recipe sounds so wonderful. I love puttanesca sauce on just about anything. I am probably the only Italian alive who isn’t crazy about garbanzos, so will substitute with cannellini beans. But I really appreciate a gluten free recipe. Tomatoes are also my favorite canned veggie – so much so that I have an entire shelf in my pantry dedicated to them. I find the ones I reach for most often are the petite diced and crushed.

  2. Heather says:

    OK first of all YES to Italian – it’s so simple and straight-forward when you use great ingredients! We are big fans of canned tomatoes too around here. Second, I am so with you on needing to slow down and enjoy it all. I just told Nate this morning that I really want to be careful not to put work before enjoying these years with family and friends!

  3. Kaitlin says:

    This looks so comforting and delicious! I love your choice of polenta over pasta. Tomatoes are my favorite veggie to stock the pantry with, too. So many delicious meals can be made with canned tomatoes!

  4. I can’t live without diced tomatoes and garbanzo beans. Funny enough, those ingredients are in your recipe!

    I’d love to make this.

    I’m so happy you are not working on the holidays. It’s so nice to simplify!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Canned tomatoes get used in a million different ways in our house. Love this recipe!

  6. Lisa the Kitten says:

    Well, as sadly I’m not an olive fan (much to my Better Half’s bemusement and chagrin) – I’ll probably make this with the olives on the side. Since I also always have canned chopped tomatoes (preferably in BPA-free containers – HINT, HINT to Del Monte!) and beans of all types (garbanzo, black, cannellini, etc.) in the pantry, I’m eager to give this yummy-looking recipe a try!

    • Kim says:

      Lisa, my husband HATES olives but I put them in anyway and he didn’t notice. Once you simmer the sauce down, the olives lose some of their potent taste and just add to the overall flavour. I think you’ll be missing out a bit if you leave them out!

  7. You kind of hit the nail on the head: Fave pantry items are chickpeas, tomatoes and capers. And artichoke hearts. I loooove this recipe! Totally meatless any day for me.

  8. Angel says:

    I always have tomatoes,artichokes and pineapple in the pantry
    This recipe looks amazing !!

  9. Josie says:

    This recipe looks delicious! I’m with ya on the tomatoes. They are definitely my favorite canned item to stock in my pantry because they’re so versatile and work in almost any recipe.

  10. elis689 says:

    I like to stock up on canned beans, tomatoes and peaches

  11. Ah creamy polenta is one of my ultimate weaknesses! Along with a big bag of polenta and dried porcini mushrooms… I always keep Garbanzo beans in my kitchen- great to throw in recipes whole or puree for a last minute hummus appy! Black beans, plum tomatoes and corn are usually kicking around somewhere too!

  12. Bri says:

    Tomatoes are my favorite pantry stock item! Great for soups,chili, or sauces!

  13. Italian petite diced tomatoes for sure, in fact on my laziest days I just cook some pasta and add them cold! Great and fast.

  14. Jamie says:

    Canned tomatoes! Recipe looks great! I love a fab meatless dinner option.

  15. I could eat this every day. Creamy polenta, chickpeas, olives, tomatoes and basil! It’s like my dream meal. Seriously!

    I am so happy you are not cooking for clients this year! I hope you have a little less stressful holiday season. I am so excited too! Let it snow! 🙂

  16. Amy Sewell says:

    Canned tomatoes have to be in my pantry all the time. I love to use del monte mexican stewed tomatoes as one part of my salsa at home.

  17. Ashley Hewell says:

    I like peaches and pineapples.

  18. Madeline says:

    We stock a lot of canned corn, peas, beets, tropical fruit, pears, and peaches. I guess my favorite would be corn.

  19. Amanda says:

    This recipe sounds delish and will be a perfect Meatless Monday meal (if I can get my husband past the idea of polenta!). I love having jars of roasted red peppers in my pantry. They’re so versatile!

  20. Kim says:

    Mountain Mama, I made this last night… I AM IN LOVE!! Oh my gosh. I haven’t had a ton of luck with homemade Italian sauces; I find they’re always lacking something so I just never make them. I’m making this one all the time!!! And I love the chickpeas in it! I made homemade meatballs for my husband (I try to eat vegan where I can but he needs his meat) and since I didn’t have polenta on hand, I served it on GF brown rice pasta. Still fantastic! I was going to share the recipe anyway but hopefully I can win something for the effort. 😉 But seriously, thanks for this, I’m so excited to make it again.

  21. Alexis K. says:

    I always have canned pineapple.

  22. Jillian_R says:

    I posted on Twitter!

  23. Jillian_R says:

    Canned tomatoes are so versitle! I ahve never tried polenta so this recipie will be a new frontier for my family. Great giveaway, thanks!

  24. D SCHMIDT says:

    I like to keep tinned carrots, tomatoes, green beans and sweetcorn in the pantry! I also keep a large amount of tinned fruit because my children are big fans, some of our favorites are pineapple chunks and mandarins in light syrup.

  25. Ange says:

    Looks yummy. I will try it as written for myself and I am going to veganize it this weekend for a friend who eats gluten free and vegan. My pantry is always stocked with cans of tomatoes, all sorts of beans and lots of fruit.

  26. Sandy Headtke says:

    More than half my dishes use canned tomato of some form. I also keep peaches on hand for a quick dessert

  27. cw says:

    I always have tomatoes (diced and crushed) stocked on my shelves for last minute recipes

  28. Deborah Fischer says:

    This recipe looks delicious and is very healthy; thank you for sharing.

  29. Amy Leach says:

    My favorite is canned tomatoes. I use them in so many recipes: chili, Swiss steak, soups, meat loaf, pasta sauce, etc.

  30. Erika says:

    I always keep corn and green beans in the cabinets.

    chambanachik at gmail dot com

  31. Janice says:

    This sounds and looks delicious, I already have all the ingredients!!!

  32. Margot C says:

    Well you have to have lots of canned tomatoes but I also stock peaches, corn, pineapple and olives in cans (lots of Del Monte!).

  33. Rena says:

    I always have baby corn and hearts of palm in my pantry!

  34. Robin says:

    Green beans are a staple for me. Quick and easy and everybody likes them!

  35. Jessie C. says:

    I like to stock canned beans and pineapple in my pantry
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  36. Jessie C. says:


  37. lisa says:

    I love tomatoes !!

  38. Meredith says:

    I love asparagus! it’s great as a side or in bits thrown into a pasta.. yummmmm

  39. Tomatoes! I’ve been buying the kind in the box because they are BPA free, but I have a ton of them lined up in the pantry.
    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

  40. Susan Smith says:

    I love green beans and pears.

  41. aimee says:

    mmm, vegetarian polenta. thank you!

  42. Mabel F Chan says:

    french beans, pears, pumpkin puree!

  43. Dawn says:

    That recipe sounds great…I’m a mountain mama too….too we live at 7500 feet in California mountains..I love your recipes …thank you

  44. Brooke T. says:

    I’d have to go with petite diced tomatoes as my number one item and diced pineapple as a close second. Here’s hoping I win. 🙂

  45. Nichelle Newton says:

    This looks great! I love a tasty, healthy and easy recipe.
    We use canned tomatoes the most in our pantry along with corn. I love fresh veggies for everything else!

  46. Jenny Park says:

    I like storing as many canned items as I can in my food storage…peaches, pears, pineapple, apples, beans, corn, green beans, we love it all! And yes to polenta…I have never had it with chickpeas but this looks so good I will try it! Thanks!

  47. Janice Cooper says:

    I love to stock canned peaches and corn

  48. Kfox says:

    I cannot wait to make this! It sounds so yummy! Oh and I stock diced tomatoes and corn always in pantry!

  49. Tomatoes don’t last long in the freezer, so I always keep canned ones around.

  50. sandra says:

    peaches and mandarin oranges

  51. shawna o says:

    yum! this looks delicious 🙂 and canned tomatoes or corn.

  52. Lauren says:

    Yum! We stock up on mandarin oranges and pears!

  53. Jennifer says:

    Love Del Monte peaches!!

  54. Kate says:

    I am so excited to be making this tomorrow when my vegetarian daughter comes homes. I know we will all love it!

  55. Allie says:

    Definitely canned tomatoes. Can’t leave without them. It’s so much better than actually having to dice tomatoes yourself!

  56. rachel says:

    I always have tomatoes! Diced, stewed, whole…all different types.

  57. Wild Orchid says:

    I love keeping canned peaches and canned green beans on hand.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  58. Wild Orchid says:


  59. Jessica S says:

    I always keep a box of Del monte canned peaches in my pantry. I buy the kinds in 100% fruit juice from Costco (I’m frugal) and store it in my tiny pantry (I’m in college) for when I’m in the mood for a sweet treat without all the added sugar. I just drain the can (I love the easy opening tops, my can opener broke so I can still have the peaches!), grab a fork and I’m all set. It’s so convenient, I love peaches, and I can have it all year long!!

  60. tina m says:

    i like pineapple

  61. Amy Tong says:

    My favorite fruit or vegetable to stock in my pantry are tomatoes and peaches. love your Chickpea Puttanesca over Creamy Polenta

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  62. Julie says:

    I always have canned tomatoes, green beans, and peaches on hand thanks for the giveaway

  63. I like to keep corn in my pantry! thanks for a chance to win! kmassman gmail

  64. Lauren Wyler says:

    Canned beans and tomatoes are always in my pantry!

  65. Shannon says:

    Just found this via Pinterest – sounds so good! I’m excited to have a great option in my pocket for vegetarian dinner guests 🙂 Can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog!

  66. maria cantu says:

    I like peaches.

  67. Norma says:

    Carrots, peas and peaches.

  68. LAMusing says:

    I keep peaches, apricots, pineapple, and tomatoes on hand.

  69. Heather Zeh says:

    I always have pineapple and diced tomato with green chili on hand. I use both in quite a few recipes.

  70. Rebecca Graham says:

    You will always find peaches and mandarin oranges in my pantry.

  71. nannypanpan says:

    I always have beets and corn in the pantry

  72. Kerry says:

    I usually have corn and green beans available in our pantry.

  73. I keep pineapple packed in juice in the pantry to use for smoothies.

  74. Erica Best says:

    this looks good and i love the ideal of keeping corn and green beans

  75. ewhatley says:

    I always have canned peaches and canned green beans in my pantry.

  76. Stephanie Olmsted says:

    This sounds yummy. We haven’t done anything like it before but we do always have tomatoes. We have dry garbonzo beans. We also keep green beans and kidney, black and pinto beans.

  77. Debbie B says:

    i keep corn, tomatoes, green beans and peaches in my pantry

  78. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    I love to stock canned peaches

  79. angie lilly says:

    I love canned peaches and apples. Just dump in a pan with a bit of cinnamon and PRESTO! yummers!

  80. Betty C says:

    My favorite to keep on hand is peaches, but I always have a big variety on the pantry shelves.

  81. Anne says:

    My favorite canned veggies and fruits to keep in my pantry include tomatoes in their many forms, peaches, corn, beets, and pineapple.

  82. Anne says:

    I tweeted a link to your yummy recipe and the giveaway. Thanks!

  83. Thomas Murphy says:

    I like to stock up on canned corn.

  84. Tabathia B says:

    canned pineapples

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  85. sean says:

    canned tomato b/c we use it in chili and pasta dishes

  86. Mel says:

    We keep canned corn handy because I make a ton of soups – veggie, turkey noodle, corn chowder etc.

  87. I made this for a group of friends last week and everyone went crazy!! I couldn’t find regular polenta in my grocery store so I used instant polenta and it turned out fabulous! I just loved the different flavors that were going on in this dish…this is one that we will definitely make again and again! 🙂

  88. Ruth Ann says:

    Even my picky, non-vegetarian daughter liked this. Thank you!

  89. Jessica says:

    I have never made polenta before so I looked it up: Polenta (Polente or Poleinte in France) is cornmeal boiled into a porridge, and eaten directly or baked, fried or grilled. So in the ingredient list when you say polenta do you actually mean cornmeal?

  90. Chris Dixon says:

    Sounds Deee-licious!

  91. Jillian says:

    Made this tonight and loved it! Great flavor and easy!

  92. joy says:

    I made this tonight for dinner, it was wonderful. Will be making this again and again.

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