Chef's Note: Don’t you love recipes that can be thrown together in minutes, yet are healthful and over-the-top delicious?
Today’s orecchiette easily fulfills all the above conditions. The tender-yet-robust chickpeas happily provide protein even as the copious amounts of spinach leaves lighten the load.
The sweet pimentón coats everything with its seductive smokiness, while the shavings of nutty Manchego cheese and the drizzle of herbaceous olive oil made with the delicate
Arbequina Spanish olives bestow the perfect last touch.
Hearty, smoky, savory, this pasta dish delivers heaps of flavor and leaves you feeling utterly satisfied.
For the pasta
- 1 tablespoon sea salt for the pasta water
- 12 oz (340gr) Orecchiette
- 1/3 cup California Olive Ranch Arbequina extra virgin olive oil
- 8 large garlic cloves – skinned and thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne or to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pimentón dulce (Spanish smoked, sweet paprika)
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1–15 oz canned chickpeas – drained
- 12 oz (340gr) baby spinach – rinsed and spun dry
- 1/3 cup cooking liquid from chickpeas or pasta water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the garnishes
- Aged Manchego - shaved (use vegetable hand-peeler)
- California Olive Ranch Arbequina extra virgin olive oil
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the salt and the pasta. Cook pasta until tender but still al dente. Drain well.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add the California Olive Ranch Arbequina Olive Oil and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds until
the garlic begins to sizzle, stirring constantly and making sure it doesn’t brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Just before the pasta is ready, reheat the garlic oil over high heat. As soon as the garlic sizzles, add the cayenne, pimenton, chickpeas and spinach.
Toss until the spinach starts to wilt, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pasta, cooking liquid from chickpeas or pasta water, salt and pepper.
Toss quickly and remove from heat.
Spoon pasta into bowls. Garnish with Manchego shavings, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve immediately.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Viviane Bauquet Farre of Food & Style