We have been eating more greens this summer than I have ever had in my life. My folks are so proud. Growing up I shunned the boiled dandelion and amaranth greens they tried to force down my throat. Though I have embraced the nutritional and tasty benefits of greens in my diet, I still need variety in their preparation else it just feels like a chore. Tonight I made a simple pasta dish with some Tofurkey sausage that was hiding in the back of my fridge. The collard greens were a nice stand in for the spinach I usually use in pasta dishes. Overall it was pretty good. Not sure how I feel about the Tofurkey, but the greens were well flavored and they paired nicely with the starchy bowtie pasta.
Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens
(4 generous servings)
1 bunch collard greens (about 1 lb.) stems removed, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into half inch slices
3 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic (or less)
1 tsp. hot pepper flakes (optional)
5 links hot turkey Italian Sausage
12 oz. pasta
salt-pepper to taste
Bring small pot of water to boil, add sausage and cook at low boil 10 minutes. Let sausage cool and slice. Bring large pot of water to a boil, add sliced collards and boil 5-7 minutes, until tender but still bright green. Remove collards from water, keep water in the pot and bring back to a boil. When water comes to a boil, add pasta and a small amount of salt and cook 9-10 minutes, until done but still quite al dente. Drain pasta, reserving about one cup of cooking liquid.
While pasta cooks, in large skillet, heat 2 T olive oil. Add sliced sausage and brown until well browned on both sides. Remove sausage. Add remaining T olive oil and garlic (and red pepper if using) and cook 2 minutes, scraping bottom of pan to get browned sausage bits. Add collards and saute 2 minutes, then add pasta and enough cooking liquid to moisten dish, and cook 2 minutes more. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with freshly grated parmesan cheese.