Pasta with Gruyere Cheese and Bacon

pasta with gruyere cheese, bacon and greens on a white plate.

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Pasta pasta tossed with sautéed collard greens with bacon, combined with Gruyere cheese, for a savory pasta dish.


  • 1 or 2 slices bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch collard greens, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • pinch salt & red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano or thyme
  • 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded (plus extra to serve at table)
  • 12 ozs elbow macaroni or other short pasta


  1. Heat a large skillet on medium high and spray with cooking oil. Add the bacon and cook until it is nice and crispy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the bacon from the pan and cool it on paper towel set on a plate to absorb the excess grease. Pour most of the extra grease out of the pan, but leave a bit for that bacon flavor.
  3. When the bacon has cooled, crumble it into bite sized pieces and set it aside to add to the dish later.
  4. Add a tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet, heat on medium. Add the garlic, cook for a minute or so until it starts getting fragrant.
  5. Gradually add the greens in a few batches, stirring the greens as you add them so they get well coated with the oil and garlic. Add a light pinch of salt, then stir in the chicken broth and balsamic vinegar.
  6. Bring the skillet to a simmer, then cover to cook gently on moderate heat. Braise the greens, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the oregano and red pepper flakes about halfway through the greens cooking time.
  7. Start boiling the water for pasta after you’ve added the greens. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta when it is cooked to your liking.
  8. Toss the pasta with the green mixture. Be sure to use up all the good liquid from cooking the greens to capture all the nutrients and flavor.
  9. After mixing the greens and pasta, stir in the cheese followed by the bacon. Serve at the table with a bit of extra grated Gruyère, and enjoy!
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