Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pasta with Greens (Easy!)

I use this recipe ALL THE TIME. I like to use red kale, arugula, collard greens, or whatever greens I have around at the time. If you are using tough greens and want to cook and soften the greens a bit more, put them in the colander and drain the pasta over them before putting everything back into the pot.

Pasta with Greens
Original recipe by E. Samara Watkiss (the friend who introduced me to R. Forrest Ethington)
Adapted for the page by Gretchen Krebs

Here’s an easy and delicious way to use bitter greens or slightly wilted lettuce without sacrificing nutrients. In this dish, the steam from hot pasta barely softens both the texture and taste of leafy greens. This recipe works well with chard, kale, and other bitter greens, as well as lettuces that have recently lost their crisp but have not begun to spoil. All of the ancillary ingredients are optional. Creative and curious chefs might want to try out other additions (such as cucumber or bell peppers) as well.

For four people (or two hungry folks) you will need:

8 oz. dried pasta, any shape
3 to 5 cups leafy greens
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
or 2 to 3 whole tomatoes
1 garlic clove
or about 2 inches of a garlic scape
4 oz. mozzarella cheese

A sprinkle of black pepper
A sprinkle of thyme

Boil or steam the pasta according to your usual methods.

As the pasta cooks, rinse the leafy greens and tear them into bite-sized pieces. Halve the grape or cherry tomatoes or, if you’re using whole tomatoes, chop them into small pieces. Chop, dice, or press the garlic according to your preference. Grate the mozzarella and set it aside.

When the pasta is done, drain it and return the hot pasta to the cooking pot. Immediately stir the tomatoes, garlic, and greens into the hot pasta. Wait just a few minutes as the leafy greens soften and the tomatoes warm up. Just before serving add the black pepper and thyme. Serve topped with grated mozzarella. Enjoy!


  1. Thanks, Gretchen! I admit I had to look up what a garlic scape was. Fortunately, google and I are friends. :)

  2. Yeah, I didn't know until we joined the CSA this year. Apparently farms are just overrun with burgeoning garlic plants in the spring, so farm-shares are often filled with garlic scapes.