Collards are here and unless you're southern you may not be too familiar with the big leaf greens. If cooking with fat back isn't your speed here's a good chance to give the greens a try. You'll be glad you did! Recipe courtesy of NYTimes
What you need:
1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and washed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion cut in half lengthwise, then sliced across the grain
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes(optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground pepper
8 to 12 ounces pasta, any shape
½ cup cooking water from the pasta
1 to 2 ounces Parmesan (to taste)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the collard greens. Blanch for 2 minutes, then using a slotted spoon or a skimmer, transfer collards to a bowl of cold water and drain. Squeeze out excess water and cut crosswise into thin ribbons.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large lidded frying pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes, and add a generous pinch of salt, the red pepper flakes and the garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute, and add the collard greens and salt and pepper to taste. When the greens begin to sizzle, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and continue to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the greens are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Bring the water in the pot back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the timing instructions on the package.
Before draining the pasta, ladle 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pot into the frying pan with the collard greens and onions. Drain the pasta and toss with the greens. Serve, topping each serving with Parmesan to taste.