The veg box is the midweek thrill on the doorstep in our household, but this time of year there’s often a massive bag of kale and I’m never sure what to do with it. I’ve tried boiling (dull), pesto (doesn’t use enough), kale crisps (more of a novelty).
Then, this week, I chanced upon this recipe. It is taken from the River Cafe Cookbook, and originally uses the more authentic cavolo nero, but tried with kale it works pretty well, and we ate up almost a 500g bag between us cooked this way. One note though, make sure you really take off all the tough stems from the kale (even the little ones). The servings in the cookery book clearly envisage pasta in a fiddly little pile that you’re served in a restaurant as one of many courses, because this is supposed to serve six, but we ate almost all of it between us.
Conchigle al … kale
900g kale (or cavolo nero if you have it)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
300ml doule cream
7 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablesps exta virgin olive oild
2 dried chillies
150g mature cheddar
250f conchiglie or other large sized pasta shapes
Remove the tough central stalks from the kale (and also the narrower tough stalks further up) and tear each leaf into 2 inch pieces. Blanch in boiling salted water for around 5 minutes, until tender but still bright green Drain and dry.
Put the double cream and five whole garlic cloves into a pan and simmer until the garlic is soft. Puree in a blender.
In a separate pan heat the olive oil and fry the remaining garlic cut into thin slices and the chilli. When the garilc has coloured (this won’t take long) add the blanched kale and stir and seaon. Pour in the cream and garlic pureee, bring to the boil and cook for ive minutes until the cavolo nero is coated and the sauce has thickened. Ad the cheese
Cook the pasta in a generous amount of boiling salted water then drain. Add to the sauce and mix well. Sere immediately.