Cavolo nero is my favorite type of cabbage. You could substitute with kale if you can’t find cavolo nero, but cavolo nero has a sweeter taste. You can think of it as the elegant Italian cousin of kale. This pasta dish is quick, easy, and delicious. The cavolo nero is parboiled and then stir fried while the pasta is cooking. To complete the dish, the cavolo and pasta are tossed with parmigiano and a bit of the pasta cooking water. The ‘sauce’ that is thus created of the cooking water and parmigiano is very creamy and works very well with the flavor and crunchiness of the cavolo nero.
This is not a classic Italian dish, but something I’ve created myself in the spirit of Italian cooking: a limited number of ingredients, a simple preparation, and a very tasty dish. The great blog of Conor is a good reminder for me that you don’t need a lot of ingredients or fancy techniques to make something delicious.
500 grams (1.1 lbs) cavolo nero (250 grams with ribs removed)
150 grams (.33 lb) penne rigate pasta
40 grams (4 Tbsp) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
1 clove garlic
a pinch of baking powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper