1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
12 ounces dried whole-grain spaghetti (may substitute another long pasta of your choice)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh, coarse bread crumbs (see note)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
4 cups baby spinach
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add a generous pinch or two of salt, then add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions (al dente). Drain and transfer to a large bowl, reserving a little of the pasta cooking water, then drizzle the pasta with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 3 tablespoons of the oil. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few seconds, then add the bread crumbs and stir to coat evenly. Toast until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the teaspoon of salt, the pepper and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, then transfer to the large bowl.
Reheat the pan over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the baby spinach and cook for 1 minute, or until wilted, then add the cooked pasta, tossing it with the spinach. If the mixture seems dry, add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water. Taste and season with more salt and/or pepper, as needed.
Serve warm, in bowls with the bread crumbs and remaining lemon zest sprinkled atop each portion.
Note: The dish depends on good, fresh bread crumbs (not dried). To make them, tear your favorite bread (it can be stale) into chunks, drop them in a food processor and pulse until they are reduced to pieces no bigger than a pea. (Some pieces can be smaller, but you don't want powder.)
Nutrition | Per serving: 560 calories, 16 g protein, 86 g carbohydrates, 19 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 430 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar
Adapted from "Bowls of Goodness: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes Full of Nourishment," by Nina Olsson (Kyle, 2017).