Mario Batali’s Fusilli Alla Crazy Bastard (Eileen Reilly)

Makes 4 servings

  • ½ c. walnut halves
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fusilli
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ pound beet greens, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • ½ pound soft goat cheese, thickly sliced
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg. Toast walnuts for 7 minutes; cool slightly. Coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl.

2. Raise the oven temp. to 450. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 tsp. of the olive oil and ½ tsp. each of salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for about 10 min. until browned in spots.

3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the fusilli. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tbs. of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 2 min. Add the roasted tomatoes, beet greens, and crushed red pepper and cook, crushing the tomatoes slightly, until the greens are just wilted, 3 min.

4. Drain the fusilli, reserving ½ c. of the cooking water. Add the pasta, the reserved water and the sliced goat cheese to the skillet and cook over moderate heat tossing to coat the pasta. Season w/ salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a bowl, garnish with the chopped toasted walnuts, top with the grated cheese and serve immediately.

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