Curly Pasta with Spinach and Chickpeas

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.

Plus: More Pasta Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 8

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  • 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

How to make this recipe

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Contributed By Published October 1998

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