Curly Pasta with Spinach and Chickpeas
- SERVINGS: 8
The portions are small because this simple pasta is part of a multi-course meal. If you want to use it as a main dish, the recipe will serve four.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, stemmed and washed well, or three 8-ounce packages frozen whole-leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 1/2 ounces pancetta, cut into thin strips
- 4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound curly spaghetti or fusilli col buco, broken in half
- One 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat a large skillet. Gradually add the fresh spinach and cook over moderately high heat, stirring between additions, until wilted. Transfer the spinach to a colander and rinse under cold water, then gently squeeze fairly dry. Coarsely chop the fresh or frozen spinach.
- In the same skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
- Return the spinach to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring, until heated through. Add the chickpeas and reserved pasta water and simmer for 3 minutes. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and serve at once.