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Pasta with Collards & Spring Onions


1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and leaves washed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 spring onions, bulbous ends and greens separated
1 stalk green garlic, sliced
salt to taste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
freshly ground pepper
8 to 12 ounces pasta, any shape
½ cup cooking water from the pasta
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Stack collard leaves and roll like a cigar, then thinly slice into ribbons.
  2. Add the sliced collard greens to the boiling water. Blanch for 2 minutes, then using a slotted spoon or a skimmer, transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Set aside.
  3.  boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the timing instructions on the package. Before draining the pasta, ladle out ½ cup of the cooking water from the pot and set aside.
  4. Slice the bulbous end of the spring onions. Thinly slice 2 tablespoons of the spring onion greens and set aside.
  5. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large lidded frying pan and add the sliced spring onions and green garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion is tender and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring about 1 minute, then add the blanched collard greens and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. When the greens begin to sizzle, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the ½ cup of pasta water, cover and continue to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the greens are nice and tender. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  7. Add the pasta and toss with the greens. Top with the reserved spring onion greens and Parmigiano Reggiano to taste.