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Winter Greens Pasta

Serves 4 servings

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 heads escarole, leaves removed from core, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 to 6 anchovy fillets (omit these to make this dish vegetarian)
  • 5 to 6 large garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) (eyeball it)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 pound spinach leaves, thick stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers (eyeball it)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups (about 3 large handfuls) arugula leaves
  • A few grates nutmeg
  • For the breadcrumb topping:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
PREPARATION

Bring a large pot of water up to a boil over high heat to cook the pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta. Cook according to package directions to al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water before thoroughly draining the pasta.

Once the water is almost up to a boil to cook the pasta, start the greens: Place a large skillet over low heat with 4 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 4 tablespoons. Add the garlic, anchovies and the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring every now and then, until the anchovies have completely melted. If you don't use anchovies, cook until the garlic is golden in color.

Once the water is almost up to a boil to cook the pasta, start the greens: Place a large skillet over low heat with 4 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 4 tablespoons. Add the garlic, anchovies and the crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring every now and then, until the anchovies have completely melted. If you don't use anchovies, cook until the garlic is golden in color.

Turn the heat up to high and add the escarole, spinach, some salt and pepper. (The greens may have to be added in batches; adding a handful and cooking it down before adding more.) Once all of the greens are in the skillet, add the reserved cup of pasta-cooking water, capers, lemon zest and juice, arugula, nutmeg and the drained pasta. Toss to combine and cook about a minute. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Place a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the breadcrumbs and toast until dark golden brown. Remove from heat and add the parsley and some pepper.

To serve, divide between 4 serving bowls and top with a handful of the breadcrumb mixture.

PRESENTATION
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