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Author Notes: Alone, this dish works well as a side to just about anything. (I often eat some pastaless as a snack or light lunch). Bulked up with with pasta, it works well as a vegetarian entree. (Be sure to check that rennet, vegetarians; Parmesan is traditionally made with animal rennet.) —tyrannyofcake
- 1 16 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (on Marcella Hazan's advice, I may never soak a dried chickpea again)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more (I use more)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, more to finish, if desired
- 2 handfuls chopped spinach or chard
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 pound orecchiette, cooked just under al dente, pasta water reserved, optional
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until the garlic is straw-colored and fragrant.
- Add chickpeas and a pinch of salt to the pan. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the chickpeas are heated through and silky in the middle. This should only take a few minutes, but it seems to vary with different brands.
- Stir in pasta and a splash of water if using. When the pasta is warmed through and the water has cooked off, add spinach or chard. Let the greens wilt down in the pan. Remove from heat.
- Stir in lemon juice to taste and adjust seasoning. Dust with Parmesan and serve.