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Pasta with collard greens and bacon

This is a New Year’s twist on a traditional pasta meal. Lightly sautéed collard greens and bacon come together to create a perfect dish.

Pasta with collard greens and bacon

After the clock strikes midnight and the new year begins, it’s best to start things off with a bowl of good luck. In the South, it’s considered lucky to eat collard greens on New Year’s Day. Apparently, the green leaves look like folded money. This brings good luck (and fortune!) to the eater. Since gaining a little good luck is never a bad thing, we opted to turn it into a pasta and add a little crispy bacon.

Pasta with collard greens and bacon

Slightly adapted from Food Network

Yield 4 servings


  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta
  • 6 thick slices bacon
  • 3 cups roughly chopped collard greens, washed and stem/spine removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. When the water is boiling, add a tablespoon of kosher salt and stir in pasta. Cook until al dente following box directions. Drain, saving 1/2 cup of the pasta water for later use, and lightly drizzle the pasta with olive oil so it does not stick together.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, start cooking the bacon by frying over medium heat until crispy. Lay it out on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any remaining grease.
  3. Drain all but 3 tablespoon of the bacon grease. Add collard greens, garlic and red pepper flakes to reserved grease. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the greens just start to soften. Do not overcook.
  4. Toss in pasta, bacon and Parmesan cheese. Add in a little reserved pasta water, if needed, to help bring the mixture together. You could also use heavy cream if you are looking for a creamier option.
  5. Top with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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