Sauteed Collards with Bacon and Ziti
Yield: Serves 4
Coarsely chopped collards and crisp bacon mingle with strips of red bell pepper and ziti to create an appealing luncheon dish or first course.
- 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 2 pounds collards, stems and center ribs removed
- 1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges and separated into layers
- 4 ribs celery, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 pound ziti, boiled and drained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Fry the bacon until crisp and drain on absorbent paper. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the bacon fat.
2. Chop the collards coarsely. Heat the bacon fat in a large skillet. Add the onion and celery and toss to coat evenly. Add the red bell pepper and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the onion is tender. Mix in the collards. Pour on the water and reduce the heat. Cover the pan and cook slowly for 10 to 12 minutes or until the collards are crisp-tender. Uncover the pan and increase the heat. Stir until almost all the liquid is evaporated.
3. Add the vinegar and red pepper. Stir in the hot, drained ziti and the bacon. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving dish.