This is such an easy dish to put together, and it’s perfect for a busy weeknight. The collards in this week’s CSA Share boxes are beautiful, vibrant green leaves. This dish can be easily customized for different tastebuds. Start with your favorite pasta, and if you have it I recommend spaghetti or linguine to match the shape of the collards. Set a pot of water with at least a tablespoon of salt to boil (the salt helps reduce the bitterness of the collards and flavor the pasta) Then remove the rib from the collards, stack the leaves on top of each other and roll up. Slice long, thin slices of collards off the roll.
Submerge the collards in a bowl of cold water and swish around a few times to rinse off any excess dirt. Drain and set aside. While the pasta is boiling shred about a cup of parmesan (or any hard cheese like pecorino, gruyere, or romano). Mince a few cloves of garlic, and get your salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper handy. You’ll also need a 1/2 lemon. When there are three minutes left on the pasta timer add the collards and stir around. Cook for the remaining 3 minutes. Before draining reserve about 1 cup of pasta water (this will help melt the cheese and make the pasta creamy). Return the drained pasta and collards to the pot, add cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper if using, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Add pasta water a little bit at a time and stir until the cheese is melted. You won’t need the whole cup. Taste and adjust seasonings.
1 lb your favorite pasta
1/2 bunch collard greens
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
sea salt + pepper to taste
1 – 1 1/2 cups fresh grated parmesan or other hard cheese
Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon sea salt to boil. While water is boiling remove rib rom collards, then stack on top of each other and tightly roll. Slice into long thin ribbons. Submerge collards in a bowl of cold water and swish to remove dirt, drain and set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. When 3 minutes remain on the timer, add collards and finish cooking. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, and drain. Return collards and pasta to the pot, then add remaining ingredients. Stir with tongs, and add a little pasta water to help melt the cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Variations. Add cooked, diced sausage or bacon. Sub gluten free pasta. Add a can of drained white beans.