A couple of years ago, I tagged along on one of my husband’s business trips to Barcelona. Two years later we’re still talking about the food (and hitting the cava). Perhaps our favorite dish was the chick pea, bacon and spinach tapas we ate at Cal Pep. Did I mention there’s BACON involved? It’s so simple, but a perfect use of its ingredients. We love this alongside a roasted chicken on a Sunday night, and though we’ll never be able to duplicate Cal Pep’s, we have fun trying. (For a truly decadent experience sub in pancetta for the bacon.)
3 slices thick-cut bacon, or pancetta
15-ounce can chick peas, drained and rinsed
Pinch red pepper flakes
Pinch pimentón dulce (smoked Spanish paprika)
8 ounces spinach
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Parboil bacon for about a minute, to get rid of excess fat. Then chop and saute over medium heat in a heavy skillet until bacon begins to brown. Add chick peas, pepper flakes, and a couple tablespoons oil, and saute until chick peas begin to brown, about 4 minutes. If chick peas seem dry, drizzle a little more oil.
Add spinach, pimentón, and garlic and sauté until spinach sweats down, 1-2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.