If you prefer, substitute tubetini or penne for the ziti in this recipe if you prefer smaller pieces of pasta in your soups. This is a warm, comforting soup for cold, wintry nights, but equally at home in summer.
- 2 Cups uncooked ziti, tubetini or penne pasta (8 ounces)
- 4 boneless skinless chicken-breast halves; fresh or frozen (about 1 1/3 pounds total)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large onion; (for 1 Cup chopped)
- 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
- 5 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 medium bell pepper; (for 1 Cup chopped)
- 2 cans Italian-style stewed tomatoes; (14 1/2 ounce ea)
- 1 can chickpeas (19 ounces)
- 1 can sliced black olives; (2 1/4 ounces)
- ground black pepper
- grated Parmesan cheese; optional
- Place ziti in 2 1/2 quarts of boiling unsalted water. Cook until just tender, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Meanwhile, if the chicken is frozen, run hot water over it so that you can remove any packaging. Place chicken on a microwave-safe plate and microwave 3 minutes, uncovered on high, to begin thawing.
- While chicken thaws, heat oil over medium heat in an extra-deep, 12-inch, nonstick skillet.
- Peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the skillet as you chop.
- Raise heat to medium-high.
- Cut chicken into bite-size chunks, adding them to the skillet as you cut. Add garlic and Italian seasoning.
- Stir from time to time.
- Seed bell pepper; cut into bite-size chunks, adding them to the skillet as you cut.
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is no longer pink outside, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes.
- Rinse and drain chickpeas; add to skillet.
- Drain olives; add to skillet.
- Raise heat to high; cook until sauce thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
- When ziti is done, drain it well and add it to skillet.
- Stir to coat noodles with sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve at once, topping with Parmesan cheese to taste.
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