Cavolo 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!).
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
- 200 g cavolo nero curly kale would also work well here
- 150 g walnut pieces
- 250 g Pappardelle pasta linguine or tagliatelle would work just as well
- 1 slice bread
- 150 g dairy-free milk (soya, oat or nut milk)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley
- optional - 2 tbsp vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 clove garlic
- olive oil
- Remove the woody stalks from the cavolo nero, and cut it into rough slices/chunks.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the pappardelle to the boiling water, and boil for 8-10 minutes until cooked to your taste.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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There are plenty of similarly quick and easy recipes in my new book, 'Vegan in 15'*. Hop over to Amazon for a look. Thanks for your support!
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...and for a few more Cavolo Nero ideas try:
- Autumn Vegetable & Red Quinoa Salad with Zahtar Dressing, and
- Kale & Yam Hash, with Sunny Side-up Eggs - both from Ceri's Natural Kitchen Adventures
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:
- Jac's Meat Free Mondays over at Tinned Tomatoes
- Emily's Recipe of the Week over at A Mummy Too
- Veggie Desserts, Michelle Utterly Scrummy and Fuss Free Helen's Extra Veg
Disclosure: I am a Froothie Ambassador, and will receive commission if you order an Optimum 9200A via these links.