This dish is a rather chic way of eating your greens while chowing down on a bowl of olio aglio pasta. Although it may seem a little fiddly to separate and shred the cooked collard leaves, it’s relatively easy to do, and pretty to look at. Cutting the greens to be a similar shape and size as the pasta not only helps the two work in well together, it turns this simple Green Aglio e Olio Spaghettini dish into an elegant feast.
- Boil water for pasta. Add a generous pinch of salt.
- Steam the collard greens in a basket on top of the pasta water. When they are wilted and tender, about 8-10 minutes, remove from the steamer and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Squeeze out any excess moisture.
- Separate the leaves and lay them on top of each other. Roll them up together and thinly slice into a chiffonade. Tease out the strands and set aside.
- Put the pasta in the boiling water and cook until just al dente, about 1 minute less than package instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic slices and dried peppers. Cook until the garlic turns golden. Add the greens. Stir to coat with oil separating the strands as you go.
- Add parsley to the greens and cook for 1 minute. Add ½ cup of pasta water, and with tongs add the spaghettini, straight from the pot. Toss and mix to intermingle with the strands of collard greens as you go. Heat through and serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan.
- 1 bunch collard greens, washed, thick stems removed
- 8 ounces whole wheat spaghettini
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced lengthwise
- 1 to 2 dried whole red chili peppers (optional or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Ann's Tips and Tricks
Keeping the dried chili peppers whole will make for a milder dish. For something spicier, break them up.