- 2 bunches of greens (kale, collard, or chard)
- 2 ounces sliced pancetta, or bacon, finely diced (3/4 cup) OPTIONAL
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 bunch of garlic scapes, chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, (not drained)
- ¼ cup water
- 8 ounces medium pasta shells, (3 cups)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Bring 2 cups lightly salted water to a boil in a large wide pan. Add greens and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and press out excess moisture. Set aside. (we take the stems out)
- Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil for cooking pasta.
- OPTIONAL: Cook pancetta (or bacon) in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, 5 minutes. Drain; discard fat.
- Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and scapes and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 to 60 seconds. Add the pancetta (or bacon), tomatoes and water; bring to a simmer, mashing the tomatoes a bit with spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until thick.
- About 10 minutes before the sauce is ready, cook pasta in the boiling water, stirring often, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.
- Add the pasta, greens and reserved pasta-cooking water to the tomato sauce. Cook together for about a minute or so. Top with cheese.