This tangle of whole-wheat noodles and garlic-laden ribbons of kale and chard is a delicious way to eat your greens and enjoy a meatless Monday dinner at the same time. Here we use Tuscan kale—also known as lacinato or dino kale or cavolo nero—but also try it with Red Russian kale, if you can find it at your farmers’ market. Common curly kale will also work, though you may have to add a few minutes to the cooking time for it to become tender.
Spaghetti with Garlicky Greens
- 12 oz. (375 g) whole-wheat spaghetti or linguini
- 1 bunch red or green chard (about 1/2 lb./250 g)
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale (about 1/2 lb./250 g)
- 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- Lemon wedges for serving
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, about 9 minutes, or according to the package directions.
2. Meanwhile, rinse the greens and tear the leaves from their tough ribs and stems, discarding the ribs and stems. Stack the leaves and fold or roll up and slice them thinly. Transfer the greens to a colander and rinse under cold running water, then drain well.
3. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the greens and stir to coat evenly with oil. (If they don’t all fit at once, add in handfuls after allowing first batch to wilt.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes, adding a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water to the pan if needed to prevent sticking.
4. Drain the pasta and return to the warm pot. Add the cooked greens, Parmesan, salt and remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and stir to mix well. Divide evenly among pasta plates or bowls and serve immediately, passing lemon wedges at the table. Serves 4.