Working at the farmers market definitely has its perks (duh). I'd never bought mustard greens before in adult form. I'd only had it in baby size, in salads for surprise bite. But the adult plant, some leaves purple, some jagged and green, is quite something itself. I think this dish must be traditional Italian but, not being Italian myself, I can't say that with any certainty. Just the simplicity and ingredients remind me of something I would make more often if I were a genuine Italian person.
Give it a shot and tell me what you think. Leave a comment and tell me if my Italian gauge is spot-on or totally out of whack... and I'll go back to writing about what I know.
2 bunches mustard greens, one purple, one green, if possible
5 cloves garlic, diced
3 whole anchovy fillets, diced or smashed with a fork
crushed red pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
1/2 package whole wheat spaghetti
cooked chickpeas (optional)
In a pot of boiling water, blanch mustard greens for about 30 seconds (may take two batches) and then shock them in ice water. Set aside to drain. In a large skillet, heat 1 T olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic, anchovy, and crushed red pepper. Cook until garlic is lightly browning. Add drained mustard greens and a large pinch of salt (you won't need too much because anchovies are salty). Saute until all of the water has evaporated and greens have cooked, about 5-7 minutes. If using chickpeas, add them now. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and toss with olive oil. Serve pasta in bowls with greens heaping on top. You may top with Parmesan if desired.