The following dish was developed and tested in a Full Belly Farm kitchen. It’s kind of a one-dish meal.
(It works with spinach or chard as well)
1 bunch collards, washed, stemmed and sliced thin
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup walnuts
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
4 teaspoons butter
1 cup (dry) penne or other similar pasta
1 cup jack cheese, grated
1 teaspoon Nutmeg (If you have whole nutmeg, it’s easy to grate it)
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350º
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the collards in the water until tender, about 4 or 5 minutes. Take the collards out of the pot with a pair of tongs so that you can now bring the water to a boil again and cook the pasta. Drain the collards, gently squeezing out the liquid.
Get a small sauce pan and heat it on the stove. Put the walnuts into the pan and let them toast. Flip them occasionally to make sure that they toast well, but don’t burn. When they are done, set them aside to cool. When they are cool, chop them coarsely.
Heat a sauté pan and melt half of the butter. Sauté the diced onion and garlic in the pan. Stir in the collards and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, and the nutmeg.
Get a mid-size baking dish (about 8 by 10 or so) and melt the remaining butter in it. Put the pasta in first, then the onion, garlic and collards mixture. Then sprinkle on the cheese layer. Next spread the walnuts and breadcrumbs on the top. Heat it up in the oven — probably just 30 or 40 minutes.