Recipe: Pappardelle with Cavolo Nero & Walnut Sauce

Pappardelle with Cavolo Nero & Walnut Sauce

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganCavolo Nero (or ‘black kale’) is a wonderful vegetable that I don’t use often enough.  It has the deep, mineral-y sweetness of kale, and a lovely bobbly texture.  You can cook it in all sorts of ways – boiled, steamed, stir-fried, even roasted, but I’ve included my favourite with the pasta dish below: quickly blanched in boiling water then sautéed in a little olive oil.  This retains some of the bite, but also it’s deep green colour, (and therefore probably lots of lovely vitamins and minerals too).

The idea for this deliciously rich walnut sauce came from a lovely and traditional Italian pasta dish I tried at the recent Food Blogger Connect conference.  It was just served on a paper plate with a plastic fork, but was memorable enough for me to have been experimenting with my own version ever since!  I’ve included a sprinkle of veggie parmesan for authenticity, but by all means leave it out to make this a vegan supper.  I whizzed up the sauce in my Froothie Optimum 9200A the silkiest of smooth sauces due to the blender’s super-power engine and tough blades.  Click here for more information, (and to compare it’s vital statistics to the far more expensive Vitamix!).

Pappardelle Cavolo Nero & Walnut Sauce 3

Cavolo nero is available in most supermarkets, but is coming to the end of its season so grab some now before it disappears until next year!

Pappardelle with Cavolo Nero & Walnut Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: Serves 2
  • 200g cavolo nero (curly kale would also work well here)
  • 150g walnut pieces
  • 250g Pappardelle pasta (linguine or tagliatelle would work just as well)
  • 1 slice bread
  • 150g milk or nut milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • optional - 2 tbsp vegetarian parmesan (omit to make this dish vegan)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  1. Remove the woody stalks from the cavolo nero, and cut it into rough slices/chunks.
  2. Heat a frying pan, tip in the walnuts, (there's no need to add any oil), and toast over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the cavolo nero for 1 minute, then use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove it to a sieve or colander (leaving the boiling water in the pan), and set aside.
  4. Add the pappardelle to the boiling water, and boil for 8-10 minutes until cooked to your taste.
  5. Meanwhile, tip the toasted walnuts, bread, milk/nut milk, parsley, garlic and parmesan (if you are using it) into a blender or food processor, and blitz until it reaches a thick sauce consistency. Season well with salt and black pepper.
  6. Heat the frying pan once again, add a little olive oil, and tip in the cavolo nero. Cook for 3-4 minutes then turn off the heat.
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the saucepan. Tip in the walnut sauce, and stir to combine. Finally, add the cavolo nero, toss together, then divide between two plates.

Pappardelle with Cavolo Nero…and for a few more Cavolo Nero ideas try:

And you might enjoy my Pinterest board Pasta: Vegetarian & Vegan for more ideas:
Follow Kate Ford | The Veg Space’s board Pasta: Vegetarian and Vegan on Pinterest.

I’m linking this recipe up with some foodie blogging challenges:

Disclosure: I am a Froothie Ambassador, and will receive commission if you order an Optimum 9200A via these links.  


  1. What a beautiful recipe and lovely pics. Genuinely putting this on my shopping list to make! 🙂
    Emily recently posted…the botanist, birmingham.My Profile

  2. I adore cavolo nero, so much more than curly kale. Deeper, sweeter and fabulous in recipes like this. Love the idea of pairing with walnut in pasta! Thanks for referencing my recipes above too Kate!
    Ceri recently posted…Gluten Free Pizza with Figs, Feta & Kale PestoMy Profile

  3. What a wonderful recipe! Sounds very healthy and delicious. I don’t think that I ever tried cavolo nero but I would love to x
    Diana recently posted…Healthy Chicken Burgers and the Tefal OptiGrillMy Profile

  4. This looks and sounds wonderful. A perfect midweek dinner for me – and a bonus it’s a healthy one too.
    Penelope recently posted…Spiced root vegetable soup: dairy free, vegan, syn freeMy Profile

  5. That walnut sauce at FBC was indeed amazing! I’m definitely going to try your version. Thanks for entering Extra Veg.
    Kate @ Veggie Desserts recently posted…Pumpkin Cupcakes with Avocado Buttercream IcingMy Profile

  6. What a glorious recipe. I have some cavolo nero in the fridge so this will be perfect to use the remainder if it up.

    Thanks for sharing with #ExtraVeg.
    Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours recently posted…The Story Behind Mortadella Bologna IGPMy Profile

  7. I seriously want to find my fork and dig right in, it looks that good! I may add in some roasted radicchio for the superfood benefits as well as the color, but otherwise it looks delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  8. WOW this looks amazing! This is truly a perfect combination walnuts Cavolo Nero works really well. Also Italian food is anyway the best 🙂
    Love Katie

Comments are closed.