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The first thing Drew wants you to know about this recipe is how easy it is, because if she can do it, anybody can do it! The other thing is to halve the cherry tomatoes—they cook very differently than when they're whole. "And if you know that going into the recipe," she says, "you can't mess it up!" The harissa paste lends a touch of spicy smokiness and an amazing extra level of flavor, so is worth seeking out if you don't have it in your pantry.
Adapted from Rebel Homemaker by Drew Barrymore. Copyright © 2021 by Drew Barrymore. Used with permission by Dutton. All rights reserved.
Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season with 2 tablespoons salt. Add the spaghetti and stir to ensure that the pasta does not clump together. Boil until just al dente, 6 to 7 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the noodles. Rinse the chickpea noodles under cold water until completely cool. Set aside.
Make the sauce. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and onion powder, if using. Saute, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not let brown. Add the cherry tomatoes and dried herbs, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the tomatoes begin to break down, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and harissa paste and cook for 3 minutes more. Taste the sauce and season with salt, pepper, and additional harissa paste, if desired. (The pasta sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store, covered, in the refrigerator before heating in a skillet.)
Serve. Add the pasta to the sauce, along with 1 to 2 tablespoons of pasta water to thin, if necessary. The sauce should be thick and concentrated, but just loose enough to coat the noodles easily. Cook for 1 minute more, tossing to combine. Add the chopped basil, gently fold to combine, and divide among serving plates. Serve immediately, topping each portion with a drizzle of olive oil and additional basil.