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Serves : 4

Crisp bacon complements escarole so well that you may be tempted to sauté the greens in the bacon fat, but don't do it; the bacon will then overwhelm the greens completely. Use olive oil instead, which will bring all the flavors together.    Fast Weekday Pastas  

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a large deep frying pan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon. Pour off all the fat from the pan.

Step 2    

In the same pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic, red-pepper flakes, and anchovy paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the escarole, a little at a time, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.

Step 3    

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain the pasta; add it to the pan with the escarole. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the Parmesan, bacon, and butter.

Chef's Notes

Variations
Stir in a cup of drained canned cannellini beans when you add the broth in Step 2.

Add two tablespoons of chopped fresh basil just before serving.

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