16kalamata or oil-cured black olivespitted and coarsely chopped
2cupscherry tomatoeslarger ones quartered, halved
Put a large pot of water on to boil.
Rub the bottom of a large (12-inch or more) deep skillet with a few drops of olive oil. Sauté the garlic just until it becomes golden. Remove from skillet and set aside. (If you prefer to use no oil, see Notes below.) Add the onion to the skillet and saute until soft, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the orange zest, oregano, and red pepper and cook about 30 seconds more. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the water reaches a boil, add the pasta and salt to taste. When the pasta is almost done (firm to the bite), add the drained chickpeas and cook until the pasta is completely done. Remove one cup of the cooking water and add it to the onions in the skillet. Drain the pasta.
Add the reserved garlic to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the basil and olives and stir. Add the pasta and toss to coat completely. Stir in the tomatoes and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Alternate Step 2 Without Oil:Heat a large, deep skillet. Add the onion and sauté until it softens, adding water by the tablespoon if it starts to stick. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add the orange zest, oregano, and red pepper and cook another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside. Since the garlic has not been reserved, ignore the mention of it in step 4 and just bring the contents of the skillet to a boil.