Spaghetti with Sauteed Collards and Bacon

Our Chopped Dinner Challenge this week was to use collard greens — fast! We decided to do a quick saute and pair them with pasta to make them the star of this dish. Chopped Basket Ingredient: Collard Greens
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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6 slices bacon 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large bunch collard greens, thinly sliced (about 1 pound)

Kosher salt and finely ground black pepper

1 pound spaghetti

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

3/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes


  1. Cook the bacon in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. 
  2. Add the oil to the fat in the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir in the garlic and cook until very fragrant and golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the collards, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, turning with tongs, until the collards are tender and bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water, and then drain the pasta. 
  4. Toss the spaghetti with the collards and some of the reserved pasta cooking water. Toss in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Crumble the reserved bacon over the spaghetti and serve sprinkled with the red pepper flakes.