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Thursday, July 29, 2010 06:29 am

Salami, Chickpea and Wilted Greens Pasta Sauce


This one is best served warm, but the sauce is just a matter of assembling the ingredients and cooking them while the pasta drains. You can vary this recipe by using other types of canned beans for the chickpeas and/or canned tuna or clams for the salami.

  • Approximately 1 1/2 c. salami,
  • pepperoni, or other cured sausage, cut into matchsticks between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
  • 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. thinly sliced or minced garlic or more or less to taste
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes or to taste, optional
  • 1 T. Hungarian or Spanish sweet or hot paprika
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, undrained
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine or vermouth
  • 4 - 6 c. coarsely chopped washed greens such as spinach or arugula
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh Italian flat-leafed parsley
  • Salt
Cook the pasta until just a couple minutes shy of al dente, then drain. Put the pot back on the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Add the salami, half the olive oil, the garlic, hot pepper, and sauté until the garlic JUST begins to turn golden. Add the paprika and cook for a minute; then add the chickpeas and their liquid and the wine and bring to a boil. Simmer for about five minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Add half the parsley and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente, 3-5 minutes.

Add the pasta to the pot and stir until the pasta and sauce are completely combined. Add the remaining olive oil, check the seasoning and add additional salt if desired. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve immediately.
Makes enough for 1 lb. pasta. Rigatoni, cavatappi, penne or other sturdy tubular pastas work best with this sauce.

To make with fresh Italian sausage: Replace the salami with 1 lb. fresh Italian sausage. Remove the sausage from the casings, if any, and sauté until cooked through. Proceed as above.
Other beans, such as cannelini beans maybe substituted for the chickpeas.
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