Chick Pea, Spinach and Pasta Stew

We had some soujuk in the freezer, and now that I'm not pregnant the smell doesn't make me sick. I wanted to eat it, and have been saving it for when I could eat it again. But I didn't want to have breakfast for dinner, so I decided (when I came across some chick peas I'd cooked for hummus and frozen for later) to make a stew to go with it. It evolved a lot while it was being made, and it was really, really wonderful. I'm looking forward to eating some for breakfast with leftover bread, too. Hope you enjoy!

1 clove minced garlic
1 diced soujuk (or about 2 tablespoons diced other sausage)
1-2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion, diced
2 cups sliced celery (about 4 stalks), with leaves
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
zest from half a Meyer lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon each: basil, dill, sumac, mint

juice from half a Meyer lemon

5 ounces frozen spinach (can be thawed or not)
1 12-ounce bottle beer (I used a Belgian white)
1 14-ounce can stewed tomatoes with juices
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts (plus the liquid; do not drain)
1 can, or 2 cups cooked and drained chick peas
zest and juice of other half of Meyer lemon
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces medium shells

In a skillet, heat oil and fry soujuk pieces until they are crispy. Combine all of second group of ingredients in a saucepan and fry over medium heat until the onions start to get crispy edges. Then add the Meyer (or other) lemon juice, and let it cook another minute or two. Excepting the pasta, add the last group of ingredients, plus the fried sausage bits, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add the pasta, then cook another 8 or so minutes. Turn off heat and let it sit for a few minutes. During this time you can (this is what we did) fry up some more soujuk or other sausage to eat with your stew. A loaf of bread is great with this too. You can also eat this plain, and it's perfectly good that way too. Serves 4-6.


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