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Crisp bacon complements escarole so well that you may be tempted to sauté the greens in the bacon fat, but don't do it; the bacon will then overwhelm the greens completely. Use olive oil instead, which will bring all the flavors together.
- For Bacon:
- 1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
- For Escarole:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 1 head escarole (about 1 1/2 pounds), leaves cut into 1/2-inch strips (about 3 quarts)
- 2/3 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For Pasta:
- 3/4 pound spaghetti
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon butter
FOR BACON: In a large deep frying pan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon. Pour off all the fat from the pan.
FOR ESCAROLE: In the same pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovy paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the escarole, a little at a time, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.
FOR PASTA: Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 12 minutes.
TO SERVE: Drain the pasta; add it to the pan with the escarole. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the Parmesan, bacon and butter.
Tip: VARIATIONS: <LI>Stir in a cup of drained canned cannellini beans when you add the broth in Step 2.</LI>
<LI>Add 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil just before serving.</LI> WINE RECOMMENDATION:
Italian white wines were made for dishes like this one. Soave, Orvieto, Frascati — all are based on the trebbiano grape and have the crisp, neutral, refreshing taste and light body that allow the pasta to take center stage.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
636 calories; 30g total fat; 34mg cholesterol; 998mg sodium; 71g carbohydrates; 7g fiber; 20g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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