My trapped bar scarf feels like it’s knitting up incredibly slowly. I knew that it would from reading comments on the pattern; it’s a 1×1 rib. Still, I feel like I’m making good progress. My friend Ellen held a “Crafterday” at her house, where we watched Lord of the Rings and knit/crocheted. We got through the extended edition of the Fellowship, and that’s a lot of stripes.
When I woke up from a nap at 7:15 and realized that the husband and I needed dinner, I knew it was time for one of my go-to quick and easy meals. It’s adapted from the Linguine with Garlic and Oil recipe in Jack Bishop’s Italian Vegetarian Cookbook. This one is a favorite because it’s easy to adapt based on what I have and what I’m craving. Yum!
If you’ve been following this blog, you may have noticed that I have a thing for whole wheat flour. I love the heartiness and texture that it adds to dishes, which is why I prefer a whole wheat pasta in this recipe. I also have a mild disdain for long, stringy pasta, because it’s such a pain to eat. I like discreet shapes, and penne is my favorite!
Whole Wheat Penne Aglio e Olio with Wilted Greens
6 oz whole wheat penne
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1-1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 oz tender greens (arugula, spinach, chard) – this is a matter of preference and how much arugula I have in the fridge
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add penne. Boil for 9 minutes and then test for doneness; I like it al dente. Drain.
While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. When oil is shimmering (or, the way my mom taught me to test it, when water flicked from fingertips into the pan sizzles), add sliced garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is a warm golden color. Try not to let it get brown (or at least, not too brown), because it starts to get bitter.
Add lemon juice, salt, and red pepper flakes, and stir. Be careful when adding the lemon juice; the water content means that you will get a little bit of oil splatter.
Stir in your tender greens. If you’re using arugula or baby spinach, you can remove the sauce from heat at this point; the residual heat will wilt the greens. With a slightly firmer green like chard or mature spinach, you may need to keep it on heat until the greens start to wilt.
Stir sauce and greens together thoroughly. Then, in a serving bowl, combine greens/sauce with cooked pasta. Be sure to scrape the pan with your spoon to get all the delicious garlicky bits out. Serve up, and enjoy!
* * *
This simple dish is delicious, and takes less than 15 minutes. You can use whatever greens you have on hand. Arugula is my favorite but my husband loves chard. You could use a firmer green like kale or collards with a bit of pre-cooking. Adjust the red pepper flakes to your spice preference.