Heat a large covered skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and when it is hot, add the spinach with all the water still clinging to its leaves from washing. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, then remove the lid and turn the spinach over with tongs. Replace the lid and cook for 2 minutes more. Repeat until all the spinach is wilted and tender. Stir in a pinch each of salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach to a colander set over a bowl and drain. When cool enough to handle, press down on the spinach to extract as much liquid as possible. Chop the spinach coarsely and reserve the juice.
In a large heavy skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly golden. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until the garlic gives off its aroma. Season to taste, stir in the diced tomatoes and the spinach, and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat.
In a large saucepan, bring a generous amount of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the orzo, stirring occasionally to stop them from sticking, for about 9 minutes or until tender. Drain thoroughly, shaking the colander to get rid of most of the water, and transfer them to the skillet with the spinach mixture and the reserved spinach juice. Toss to mix the ingredients evenly, taste for seasoning and reheat gently before serving.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved
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