Monday, December 3, 2012

Pasta with Shredded Collard Greens

Chard in one of our hoop houses.
All sorts of hearty greens can be substituted in this simple recipe from Ian Knauer's cookbook The Farm: rustic recipes for a year of incredible food. Knauer's simple recipes, beautiful photographs, and colorful writing has made this cookbook a new favorite here.

Winter greens, bacon, and walnut pieces? Do I really need to say more, dinner tonight is certainly decided.

4 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 large bunch collard greens (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for the table
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
8 ounces elbow macaroni

Cook the bacon and walnuts in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, turning, until the bacon is crisp and the walnuts are golden. 6 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel and let cool, then crumble the bacon. Do not clean the skillet.

Stack and roll up the collards tightly, like a cigar, then slice them as thinly as possible so they resemble Easter grass.

Add the oil to the skillet, along with the garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden. 1 to 2 minutes. Add the collard greens and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook over high heat, turning with tongs until the collards are wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the Parmesan and vinegar to the collards along with the bacon and walnuts, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in heavily salted boiling water until it is al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta-cooking water, drain the pasta, and toss it with the collards, along with the reserved cooking water. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve the pasta with additional Parmesan.

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