This is a good example of a pasta dish that’s thrown together in about the time it takes to bring the water to a boil. Note the variation with slivers of leftover roasted chicken.
6 to 8 large garlic cloves, thin skins left on
To roast the garlic:Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the garlic with the oil in a small baking pan. Roast in the oven until tender when poked with a small knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool, peel, and halve the garlic cloves lengthwise.
To prepare the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a little salt.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red onion, bell pepper, scallions, pepper flakes, and a sprinkling of salt; cook, tossing with a wooden spoon, until the onion is crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the roasted garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until partially done, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the escarole or broccoli rabe to the pot and cook until the pasta and greens are just tender, about 5 minutes longer. With a mug, scoop out and set aside about 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and greens well.
Return the pasta and greens to the pasta pot and set over low heat. Add the bell pepper mixture, tomatoes, nutmeg, and basil. Heat through, tossing and adding enough of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to moisten the mixture as well as a sprinkling of the grated cheese. Taste and correct the seasonings, adding salt, pepper flakes, and/or nutmeg, if needed. Serve immediately, sprinkled with more cheese and fresh pepper.