Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water, for 1 minute less than the time indicated on the box (the pasta should be al dente, with a tiny dot of resistance at its center). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
While the pasta is boiling, place the oil and garlic in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil begins to heat and the garlic begins to sizzle, stir it for 30 to 60 seconds, until fragrant. If the garlic begins to brown, lower the heat immediately; scorched garlic is bitter. Add the diced ribs to the pan and saute until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the greens to the pan and toss to coat them with the garlic and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, lower the heat to medium-low and saute until wilted, stirring occasionally. Add the beans, protein or other vegetables, if using, and heat through, stirring occasionally.
Add the cooked pasta and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until the pasta is cooked through.
Remove from the heat and stir in half of the grated cheese to create a light sauce, adding more pasta water if necessary to loosen the mixture. Add the pepper flakes, give a final stir, and adjust the seasoning. Divide among 4 serving bowls and top with the remaining cheese.
About this recipe
Recipes excerpted from Eat It Up!: 150 Recipes to Use Every Bit and Enjoy Every Bite of the Food You Buy by Sherri Brooks Vinton. Copyright c 2016. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Available wherever books are sold.