Recipe: Quick Lunch Pasta with Greens, Mushrooms and Meats

Last weekend it was chilly and we all needed a warm, nourishing lunch, but save for a few scraps of speck left over from Friday's dinner party and some very floppy kale, there wasn't much food to speak of in the kitchen.

Hey, that's almost enough for something quite delicious!

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If your pantry is stocked with items to get you through a low-point such as this (only having a few scraps of fresh food on hand), then you can make a dish like this.

Never mind if you don't have porcini, use any dried mushrooms. No cured meat leftovers? What about that chicken drumstick from last night? Shred it up and toss it in. Maybe your greens are already cooked, hiding in a tiny take-out box. Skip cooking them in the pasta water and warm them in the chicken broth instead.

This is all about using what you have.

Quick Lunch Pasta with Greens, Porcini and Meats

Serves 2

1/4 pound dry pasta
1/4 cup dried mushrooms, crumbled to bite-size
1/2 cup cooking greens (kale, collards, chard, spinach, or turnip greens), chopped to bite-size
1/4 cup chopped cured meat (speck, prosciutto, pancetta, or bacon*)
1/4 cup chicken broth, warm
Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Boil enough water to more than cover pasta. When water is boiling, ladle out enough to cover mushrooms in a small bowl and set aside. Add a dash of salt to the boiling water and cook pasta to within 1 minute of being done. Add the greens, drain, and toss with remaining ingredients.

*certain cured meats like bacon and pancetta should be lightly sautée in a small skillet before adding to the dish, speck and prosciutto can be eaten as they come from the market. If it's something you serve on a cheese plate, it doesn't need to be cooked.

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