In this recipe the greens are cooked with the pasta–added, depending on the type of green, at various points as the pasta cooks. You’ll need more water than usual in the pasta pot to accommodate the addition of the greens.
salt, for pasta water
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
1/4 – 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/3 c olives, pitted and chopped (see note, below)
5 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed
3 c dry pasta
10 cups or so spinach, washed, stemmed, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper, if needed
freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt it, if you like, once it boils–2 T or so.
2. Combine garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, olives, and olive oil in a large serving bowl. Set aside.
3. Add pasta to pot. Return to the boil. Add greens when you think it appropriate–collards near the beginning, rapini about 5 minutes in, spinach for just the last minute at the most. Drain the pasta and greens. Toss with olive mixture. Taste for seasonings, adding some salt and pepper if you think it’s needed. Add more olive oil if you like. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve, with extra grated cheese at the table.
Note: In addition to, or instead of the olives, you could used about 1/4 c chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil; 2 T drained capers; 1/2 c toasted breadcrumbs; or 1/4 c minced prosciutto or other ham.