Mark Bittman’s Fastest Pasta With Spinach Sauce

1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
About 15 kalamata or other olives, pitted & chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 pound long pasta, like linguine
1 pound spinach, washed, tough stems removed, chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Mince the garlic as finely as possible and combine it, in the bottom of a large bowl, with the red pepper, olives and olive oil.
2. Place the pasta in the pot, and cook until it is nearly done. Plunge the spinach into the water and cook until it wilts (less than one minute).
3. Drain the pasta and spinach quickly, allowing some water to cling, and toss the hot pasta and spinach in the bowl with the garlic and olive mixture. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 3 or 4.

Add freshly grated cheese to taste. Try adding 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes or 2 T drained capers.

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