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"I make this dish with fresh or defrosted spinach and pantry staples like tuna and canned cherry tomatoes or semi dried tomatoes," Rach says. "My sister Maria is not a fan of tuna, so I make a second batch for her with pulled/shredded rotisserie or poached chicken."
- 1 bag of frozen spinach (16 ounces) OR 1 pound fresh spinach, defrosted (if using frozen) or blanched and drained (if using fresh), then squeezed dry with a towel and chopped
- About ¼ cup EVOO
- 1 large shallot or small onion, finely chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon zest and juice of ½ (about 2 tablespoons juice)
- A little freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 can Italian cherry tomatoes (14 ounces) OR 1 ½ cups semi-dried tomatoes (lightly drained and chopped) OR 2 cups halved fresh cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
- 2 jars or cans Italian tuna in oil (6-8 ounces each), drained and flaked OR 2 cups pulled/shredded cooked chicken
- 12 ounces to 1 pound spaghetti, chitarra or bucatini
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese, optional
Bring a pot of water to a boil for pasta.
Process the spinach, defrosted or fresh.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat with EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, add shallots or onion and season with salt and stir 2 minutes, add garlic, chili flakes, nutmeg, and zest of 1 lemon, add spinach and loosen it up, season with red pepper and, add juice of ½ lemon. Add tomatoes and break them up, add vermouth or wine and simmer at a good bubble for 10 minutes. Add tuna or chicken to heat through.
Cook pasta a minute less than directed on package in salted water, save a little starchy cooking water, toss pasta with sauce and cheese and serve.