An effortless dish to prepare. Its layers of satisfaction rest on the flattering qualities of chick-peas and spinach, enriched by olive oil and quickened by lemon juice. This dish comes from the Italian Jewish tradition, a marriage of the eastern Mediterranean with the Bolognese tradition. ½ lb. fresh spinach Salt 6 oz. (½ cup) chick-peas 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Wash the spinach well, but do not chop it. Put the spinach in a pot with 1 Tbsp. salt. Add no water except for that which clings to the spinach. Cover and cook over medium heat until the spinach stems are slightly softened but not too limp. Drain. Drain the chick-peas and squeeze off their peel, one by one. Put the spinach, chick-peas, olive oil, and lemon juice in a saucepan, cover and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Taste and correct for salt. Serve while still hot.

adapted from Marcella’s Italian Kitchen by Marcella Hazan, Knopf N.Y.1986