This works really well with most greens, though I might pass on using curly kale or collards and go for mustard greens, tat soi, young choi, rapini, komatsunu, even lettuces. A combination of greens is especially tasty.
3 c short pasta–penne, rotini…
6 or so c (mixed) greens
2 T water
2 T dry sherry; or dry vermouth, sake, madeira, port; or apple or orange juice
2 T soy sauce
1 T lemon juice
1 T honey, agave, maple syrup, or other sweetener
1 c thinly sliced leeks or (red) onion
1 T sesame seeds
2 T sesame or other vegetable oil
ground pepper, to taste
grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, for serving, optional
1. Cook pasta according to your preference.
2. Wash, dry, and coarsely chop or tear greens. Put into a serving bowl. Set aside.
3. Combine water, sherry, soy sauce, lemon juice, and honey in a small bowl. Set aside.
4. About 5 minutes before the pasta is done, in a skillet large enough to hold the pasta, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and sesame seeds and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender and the sesame seeds are toasted. If either the leeks or seeds start to darken, turn the heat down. Stir in the sherry mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add the hot, cooked pasta which you will have drained while cooking the leeks and toss to coat with the sauce.
5. Pour hot pasta mixture over greens. Toss to mix. Add ground pepper, or grind some pepper over all. Serve immediately (or not) with grated cheese, if you like.