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Alla Crazy Bastard Pasta

April 3, 2009

Who can resist the name?  Apparently this pasta was inspired by the punchline in a New Yorker cartoon and that’s pretty much what drew me into this recipe, which is adapted from Food & Wine.  This is a pretty healthy dish with lots of greens, tomatoes, and a light, tangy, goat cheese sauce.  I’ll admit- I forgot the walnuts,  but threw in a leftover link of Italian turkey sausage.  I think either way would be good if you’re going for a meat or meat-free meal.  This recipe, which serves 4-6, would also be good served at room temperature as a pasta salad.

Ingredients:

1/4 c chopped walnuts

2 T olive oil

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

3 cloves garlic, minced

pinch crushed red pepper

1 bunch Swiss chard, kale or beet greens, stems sliced into 1″ pieces and leaves coarsely chopped

1-5 oz log goat cheese (I used a herb flavored one)

1 lb dried fusilli, cooked and 1 c pasta water reserved

Salt and pepper

Parmesan, for sprinkling

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain, saving 1 cup of the cooking water.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Halve cherry tomatoes and toss with 1 T olive oil and salt and pepper.  Bake on a baking sheet for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.  In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts, shaking the pan occasionally until they are toasted.

In a large skillet with a lid, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to avoid burning.  Add the stems of your greens and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the leaves of the greens- in batches if necessary- and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to wilt.  When all the leaves are added to the pan, cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until leaves are thoroughly cooked.  Add salt to taste.

In the large pot you cooked the pasta in, add the cooked greens, tomatoes, goat cheese, walnuts and pasta and stir to incorporate.  Add the pasta water to loosen the sauce (I added all of it).  Serve topped with Parmesan.

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