Garlic Pork with Garbanzos, Spinach and Tomato

Garlicky nuggets of pork in a fresh tomato sauce thickened with chickpeas and spinach is a terrific combination, the dish mindless to make. I used particularly meaty pork belly slices but any lean pork is suitable. The meat should have a slight chew that works well with the mealy texture of chickpeas, chilli-flecked tomato juices and slippery spinach. Good with crusty bread or, surprisingly, over cous cous.

Serves 4
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 50 min

800g pork belly slices
4 large garlic cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
1 kg ripe tomatoes
½ (half) tsp chilli flakes
¼ (quarter) tsp sugar
400g tin chickpeas

200g young leaf spinach      Cut the pork into small kebab-size pieces, discarding excess fat. Peel, chop and pound the garlic to a juicy, smooth paste with ½ (half) tsp salt. Stir 2 tbsp olive oil into the garlic and smear thoroughly over the meat. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, count to 30, drain, peel and chop. Heat remaining oil in a spacious frying/sauté pan over a medium-high heat, swirling it round the pan. Brown the meat in batches, letting it really sear. Return all the meat, tomato, chilli, sugar and good grinding of black pepper. Simmer briskly, uncovered, giving the occasional stir, for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain chickpeas and add to pan. Stir, reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, check meat is sufficiently tender and if not cook on for a few more minutes. Fold in handfuls of spinach. The dish is ready when it’s melted. Eat now or reheat later.