YieldsServes 4 (8 cups)
AuthorJerry Anne Di Vecchio

Layered flavors give this hearty vegan dinner depth: sweet onion, fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, red chiles, and black olives. If you’re an omnivore, try adding a couple of minced anchovy fillets; they add savory oomph without noticeable fishiness.

How to Make It

Step 1
1

Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. In another medium pot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and bay leaves and cook until onion is softened, about 7 minutes.

Step 2
2

Stir in olives (and anchovies, if using), garlic, and chile flakes; let sizzle 1 minute.

Step 3
3

Boil pasta just until beginning to get tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, stir tomatoes into pot of onion and olives and let simmer 7 to 8 minutes to blend flavors.

Step 4
4

Scoop 1 cup cooking water from pasta pot and pour into pot of sauce. Drain pasta and add to sauce, along with chickpeas and spinach. Cook until pasta is just tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and add lemon juice if you like.

Step 5
5

Meanwhile, dry pasta pot, add 1 tbsp. oil, and heat over medium heat. Add panko and lemon zest. Toast panko, stirring, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 6
6

Spoon pasta into shallow bowls and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with panko and serve extra panko on the side.

Ingredients

 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
 1/2 large onion, finely chopped 2 bay leaves
 1/2 cup finely chopped pitted brined black olives, or 1⁄4 cup finely chopped olives plus 2 anchovy fillets
 3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
 1/2 pound orecchiette pasta
 1 1/2 cans (20 oz. total) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
 1 (14.5-oz) can chickpeas (with liquid)
 1 package (10 oz.) thawed frozen whole-leaf spinach
 About 1 tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
 1 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
 2 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

Step 1
1

Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. In another medium pot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and bay leaves and cook until onion is softened, about 7 minutes.

Step 2
2

Stir in olives (and anchovies, if using), garlic, and chile flakes; let sizzle 1 minute.

Step 3
3

Boil pasta just until beginning to get tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, stir tomatoes into pot of onion and olives and let simmer 7 to 8 minutes to blend flavors.

Step 4
4

Scoop 1 cup cooking water from pasta pot and pour into pot of sauce. Drain pasta and add to sauce, along with chickpeas and spinach. Cook until pasta is just tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and add lemon juice if you like.

Step 5
5

Meanwhile, dry pasta pot, add 1 tbsp. oil, and heat over medium heat. Add panko and lemon zest. Toast panko, stirring, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 6
6

Spoon pasta into shallow bowls and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with panko and serve extra panko on the side.

Chickpea and Spinach Orecchiette with Crispy Lemon Bread Crumbs