Pasta with Haak or Collard Greens

I had never seen this type of kale before and to be honest, I had to do some research.
'Haak' or 'Collard greens' is a leafy green vegetable from mustard – cabbage family. 
They are native to the Mediterranean region but I bought them in Kent.
The leaves look like outer cabbage leaves but darker in color and sometimes almost black. The aroma and taste is something between cabbage and mustard leaves and the leaves do not get very soft after cooking like spinach leaves tend to do.

'Haak' or 'Collard greens' are also very nutritious, a 1 cup portion of cooked collard greens has about 50 calories. It is an excellent source of vitamins C, A, and K. This same serving will provide a good source of calcium, fiber, and beta-carotene, as well as vitamin E. Rich in nutrients and antioxidants, 'Haak' or 'Collard greens' are beneficial for supporting the immune system. 

the paste

The taste does take some getting used to but after you do, you will enjoy the warm mustardy flavour. I made the leaves into a pesto-like paste and mixed them with parmesan. The parmesan softens the mustard flavour a bit and the Ricotta gives the greens a sweeter touch.

What do you need 
 serves 4
1 bunch of Collard greens
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 cup of grated parmesan
4 tsp of olive oil
2 tsp of ricotta
parmesan to serve
olive oil to serve

- Rinse the Collard greens well
- Remove the stalks from the leaves
- Boil salted water
- Cut the leaves to create strips
- Add to the boiling water, do not put the lid on
- Boil for 5-7 minutes
- Drain the Collard greens and keep the cooking water to cook the pasta in.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water
- Divide the Collard greens so you have 2/3 and 1/3.
- Add the 2/3 of the Collard greens to a food processor or mixing bowl
- Add the olive oil, parmesan and garlic to the Collard greens and puree.
- Add the Ricotta to the paste and stir
- Drain the pasta and keep some of the cooking water
- Stir the Collard greens paste trough the pasta, if its to dry, add some of the cooking water.
- Finally stir in the 1/3 of Collard greens leaves
- Serve with a generous amount of parmesan and drizzle some olive oil over the dish to finish it of.

This dish is delicious with a fruity white wine.


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