Asparagus-Escarole Pasta

Here the escarole is raw but gets wilted by the other ingredients.

Snap the bottoms off 1 bunch of asparagus.  Cut the spears into bite-sized pieces, slicing any that are fatter than a “Sharpie” marker in half lengthwise.  Toss with 2 T. olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven at 400 degrees on a baking sheet or in a large cast iron skillet.

When the asparagus begins to brown, add 3 T. chopped green garlic to the pan.  Roast another five minutes.

Separate the leaves of 1 head of Escarole.  Soak them in a basin of water and then rinse the bases of the leaves if they are dirty.  Drain and spin dry.  Chop or tear the larger leaves roughly.  Place in a large bowl.  It will seem like a lot of greens, but they will wilt down at the end.

Boil water for pasta and cook 2 C. large chunky pasta like rigatoni or penne.

When the asparagus is done, you have two options:  1) Pour the juice of one lemon over it while the pan is still very hot, and stir to deglaze.  Or 2), pour 1 C. of chopped canned tomatoes and their juice over the pan and stir to combine.

Toss the hot asparagus, pasta, and escarole together in the bowl.  Season with salt to taste and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.

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