• 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.