The anchovies are actually optional in this recipe, but they really make the dish…
For one cup fresh bread crumbs, take 3 pieces of good, sturdy bread, trim the crusts, tear into smaller pieces and pulse in a food processor until you have crumbs of a size you like.
4 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 c fresh bread crumbs
12 oz pasta (3 c dry)
1 bunch rapini (kale, mustard greens, turnip greens…)
5 or 6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 – 2 t red pepper flakes, or to taste, optional
6 flat anchovy fillets, optional
3 T grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
1. Heat 2 T olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and stir gently with a wooden spoon until golden brown. Transfer to a small bowl or plate.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the pasta and rapini and cook until the pasta is al dente or to your preference. Greens have a tendency to rise to the top of the water, so stir them down every now and then.
3. Meanwhile in a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 2 T olive oil over low heat. Cook the garlic, red pepper flakes, and anchovies until the garlic is just beginning to brown. Stir occasionally, breaking up the anchovies with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat if the pasta and greens aren’t done.
4. Drain pasta and greens. Add to the skillet, increase heat some and cook for a couple of minutes, mixing well. Top with bread crumbs and cheese and serve.