If using dried chick peas, soak them overnight in abundant water. In the morning, drain them, add to a large saucepan, and cover with fresh water that clears them by a few inches. Gently boil over medium-low heat for 2 hours or until tender but not mushy. Drain and reserve until needed for pasta.
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook together until the ingredients are light golden. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the chickpeas, salt and pepper to taste.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Cook the pasta until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the package directions), drain, and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and its water to the chickpea mixture and cook for one minute.