I am loving the dark green antioxidant, calcium and vitamin C-rich leaves of cavolo nero at the moment and using them a lot in place of kale (which can be used in this recipe if cavolo nero is not easily found at your fingertips). The leaves have a certain nuttiness, which gives them a very rounded flavour, along with the sweet, tangy bitterness of this black cabbage. For extra protein in this dish, finish it with a piece of simple pan-fried salmon on top.
50ml extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
500g cavolo nero, woody stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
400g spaghetti or linguini (preferably wholewheat if you can find it)
25g plain cashew nuts
50g Parmesan, finely grated
50ml vegetable stock
2 large tomatoes, diced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a medium pan over a very low heat and cook the garlic for 5–6 minutes, turning the cloves halfway through and shaking the pan from time to time so that they don’t burn.
Meanwhile, get a really large pan of salted water on to boil. Once boiling, plunge in the cavolo nero and cook for 2–3 minutes until just tender. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in two batches.
Then, using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the cavolo nero into a colander and set aside in the sink to let excess water drain off. Return the cavolo nero cooking water to the boil and add the spaghetti to cook for as long as it says on the packet.
Once the garlic cloves are softened and golden, add the cashew nuts and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the excess water from the cavolo nero and add the leaves to a food processor. Add 25g of the Parmesan along with the stock.
Once the garlic and cashews have had their time, tip them (and all of the oil from the pan) in as well. Blitz this until as smooth as possible and then season to taste. Drain the cooked pasta well and return it to the pan. Add the mixture from the processor along with the tomatoes and give everything a good stir together.
Divide among four serving plates. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan and serve.
Recipe is from Healthy eating book ‘Eating well made easy’
Pic by @mylesnew