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Winter Greens Pasta


  • Salt

  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (eyeball it)

  • 5-6 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 5-6 anchovy fillets (omit these to make this dish vegetarian)

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 heads escarole, leaves removed from core, washed and roughly chopped

  • 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 arugula leaves (about 3 large handfuls)

  • A few grates of nutmeg

For the breadcrumb topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

  • A handful of flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped

  • Freshly ground black pepper


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 four 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 and some 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, freshly grated 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 and the EVOO. Add the breadcrumbs and toast until they are dark golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the parsley and some pepper. To serve, divide between four serving bowls and top with a handful of the breadcrumb mixture. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to