Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spinach and Chickpea Pasta with a Lemon "Pop"

Have you figured out that we LOVE spinach around here? It's pretty much a staple.  This time I took a can of chick peas, olive oil, garlic, spinach and a secret ingredient for this quick and extremely inexpensive pasta.  A couple of years ago I posted an easy recipe for preserved lemons..and I still preserve them now.  I have another batch of  Meyer lemons preserved in the fridge and used one for this pasta. Here's the link to Preserved Lemons: 

Makes about 4 servings

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced
1  14.5 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 whole preserved lemon
A 9 to 10 ounce bag of baby spinach leaves
12 ounces of dried linguini (or pasta of your choice)
1/4 cup grated parmesan plus more for serving

In a large skillet heat the oil and saute the garlic for just a couple of minutes until soft.  Add the chick peas, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper and continue to saute for about 4 more minutes.
Cook your pasta about a minute short of being done.  Drain, saving about 1  1/2 cups of the pasta water.
Now rinse the preserved lemon, and finely mince the peel and pulp.
Add the lemon to the chickpea mixture and add the cooked pasta.  Stir in the spinach over the heat, adding enough pasta water to create a nice sauce.
Once the spinach has wilted stir in the 1/4 cup of parmesan and serve, topping each serving with more cheese.  Enjoy the lemony "pop"!

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