Cavelo Nero, Pancetta and Chili

Cavelo Nero with Linguini
Cavelo Nero with Pancetta and Chili

By Rory Kelly

Cabbage was something my parents had to literally tie me down to force-feed me when I was a kid….and I’m glad they did. I don’t exactly know if it’s a psychological thing now or not but I love cabbage and I could literally eat it until it ran out of my ears!!

So, Cavelo Nero is simply just cabbage…Italian black cabbage. It’s kinda like a cross between savoy cabbage and kale and it packs a serious punch. Cooked, shredded and mixed with chili and garlic and this will knock you little black socks off….if you wear socks that is.

Serves 2

200 grms dried linguini

150 grms cavelo nero, stalks removed and shredded

2 cloves garlic sliced finely

1 tps chili flakes

100 grams fresh parmesan cheese

50mls olive oil

50 grms pancetta cut into cubes


Kick off by getting the cavelo nero blanched in boiling salted water, this will only take about 8-10 minutes. At the same time get a big pot on for the pasta, 3/4 fill with salted water, bring to the boil then drop in the linguini.

When the cavelo nero is cooked drain it and set to one side. Next get a frying pan on the heat, add the oil, garlic and pancetta and cook out until the pancetta is crispy then dump in the cavelo nero and add the chili flakes.

When the linguini is cooked lift it directly into the pancetta and cavelo nero in the pan, bring in some of the startchy pasta water and mix everything together well.

Before serving, season and add the Parmesan to the dish.

Cabbage…whoda thunk it eh!?


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