My Spaghetti with Cavalo Nero & Almonds is a winner, winner, pasta dinner! Or lunch, or breakfast for that matter!
It's such a simple combination of ingredients that deliver an unbelievable taste that's so surprising from an often underrated vegetable.
What's in a name?
Cavalo Nero is the Italian name, but this cabbage goes under other pseudonyms, such as Tuscan Cabbage, Tuscan Kale or just Kale. Basically, you just have to know that it's the dark green cabbage with really long stems and go with whatever they're calling it that week.
It's a kind of pesto dish, replacing the basil with Cavalo Nero and the pine nuts with slithered almonds.
There's not much to this pasta dish, but I guarantee you'll be blown away by how delicious and simple it is to make at home. I mostly used dried pasta at home, but have been known to crack out a homemade Spaghetti or Fettucini for this family favourite from time to time.
How to make my Spaghetti with Cavalo Nero & Almonds
- 1 bunch Cavalo Nero
- 1/3 cup slithered almonds
- 1 large clove garlic (roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese
- Salt & pepper
- 1 packet of spaghetti
- Fill a large pan with water, season with a little salt and set over a medium/high heat to come to a boil.
- Meanwhile, strip the cabbage leaves from the stems. Discard the stems and chop the leaves into large pieces.
- When the water boils, tip in the cabbage, almonds and garlic. Press down into the water then let them simmer gently for 6-7 minutes. Drain into a colander, retaining the cooking liquid.
- Put the cabbage mix into a food processor along with the olive oil, butter and cheese - you can also use a stick blender to save the mess. Season with plenty of salt & pepper, then blend until you have a smooth puree. Add a little of the cooking liquid to loosen the mix slightly.
- Cook your spaghetti to the packet instructions in a large pan of salted water. When done, drain and tip into a large pan alongside the cabbage. Toss thoroughly to coat.
- I always add a spoonful or two of the pasta cooking water as the pasta will always soak up more liquid than you think, and I think we can all agree that a dry pasta is never fun. Portion into bowls, then dust generously with more Parmigiano Reggiano and you're good to go!
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