1. Penne with Creamed Greens and Pancetta
1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (optional)
1 pound bunch broccoli rabe, rinsed and trimmed
1 medium bunch dinosaur kale, rinsed and stems trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup heavy cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup creme fraiche
1 pound penne rigate
3 to 4 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano
1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, spread the diced pancetta in a saute pan and place over medium heat. Cook the pancetta until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crisp; you may need to turn the heat lower as you go. Remove the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
2. Pile the still-wet-from-rinsing greens into a large pot. Pour the oil over the greens. Season with salt. Turn the heat to high and begin wilting the greens, moving the greens from the bottom of the pot to the top using tongs. When they are fully wilted and most of the liquid has cooked off (if it hasn’t, pour off all but 1/4 cup), add the cream and a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
3. Move the greens into a food processor, adding about half the creamy liquid in the pot. Puree, adding more liquid as needed; reserve any extra. Add a squeeze of lemon and the creme fraiche and puree once more. Adjust seasoning.
4. When the water boils, add the penne and cook until al dente; reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain and add back to the pot. Plop the creamed greens on top of the pasta. Add the pancetta, and fold everything together. Add a handful of cheese, and fold again. Add some reserved creamed greens liquid (or pasta water), if needed. Serve in shallow bowls, sprinkling a little more cheese on top of each plate.
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