Recipes Main Courses Pasta Rice and Grains Spaghetti with Collard Greens, Hazelnuts and Caramelized Onions

Spaghetti with Collard Greens, Hazelnuts and Caramelized Onions

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Antioxidant-packed onions develop a luxurious smoothness when caramelized using a low and slow cooking method. A serving of collards provides as much calcium as a glass of milk, but the only thing you’ll notice about these ribbon-cut greens is the brightness and subtle earthiness they bring to the dish.


  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 12 oz. (375 g) whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1 large head collard greens, stemmed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a large fry pan over low heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they brown and begin to caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the vinegar and garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic softens, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the 1 tsp. salt and the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the cooking water.

Increase the heat under the fry pan to medium-high and add the collard greens, hazelnuts and the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the collard greens begin to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add half of the pasta water and cook until most of the water is absorbed. Stir in the pasta, the remaining pasta water and the 3 Tbs. cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately and pass additional cheese at the table. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy Dish of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014).