Nigella's Pappardelle with Cavolo Nero and 'Nduja recipe

Nigella's Pappardelle with Cavolo Nero and 'Nduja
 

I probably should have chosen a different second recipe to make from Cook, Eat, Repeat (affiliate link) as this is another pasta with greens dish and I’ve only just made Spaghetti with Chard, Chilli and Anchovies. These are my favourite kinds of dishes to cook though; I love pasta, I love greens, and bringing them together with some kind of sauce (tomatoes, anchovies, or 'nduja and butter in this case) makes for a satisfying, low effort, weeknight dinner.

Nigella uses fusilloni on her TV show but the book suggests durum wheat pappardelle (rather than egg pappardelle). I often buy fresh egg pasta, disagreeing entirely with the lovely Sali Hughes about it being claggy, eggy, pricey and foul (she doesn’t hold back!) but I’ve followed the recipe exactly - well, apart from halving it. The pasta in the picture is Garofalo pappardelle and it’s great - the Garofalo range is extensive and I pick up different varieties from Ocado whenever they’re on sale.

I’m sure I’ve blathered on about my unwavering love for cavolo nero before so I won’t repeat myself. However, I do want to mention how much I appreciate M&S/Ocado selling whole leaves of cavolo nero in addition to the bags where they’ve chopped it up without removing the stalks, reduced the amount and charged more for the convenience. It’s not just me - these are some of the reviews (that I’ve cherry picked to prove my point): “just a bag of woody stalks”, “mostly stalks”, “a bag of stalks”. 

I think it’s so much easier to remove the stalks from whole leaves: hold the base of a stalk in one hand and use the other hand to strip the leaves from base to tip (watch Jamie Oliver do it).

Anyway, back to the recipe. I’ve got to say that I really love the double carbs here. I never put potato with pasta unless it’s been done for me in the form of gnocchi but it’s a great combination, especially with the buttery 'nduja sauce.  

Notes

I halved the recipe and used my 20cm (3.8 litre) saucepan to cook the potato, pasta and cavolo nero. If I were to cook the entire dish I would need to use my 24cm (6 litre) saucepan to fit everything in.

Recipe credit

Cook, Eat, Repeat (affiliate link) by Nigella Lawson

Ingredients

Serves: 4

  • salt
  • 1 largefloury potato(around 300g)
  • 500gcavolo nero
  • 500gpappardelle
  • 60gunsalted butter
  • 150g'nduja(either the jarred paste or a slab)
  • 3 tbspextra virgin olive oil(plus more to finish)

Method

  1. Fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil (the saucepan needs to be big enough to hold the potato, pasta and cavolo nero).
  2. Peel 1 large potato (around 300g) and cut into 1cm cubes then tip them into the saucepan with the boiling water. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
  3. While the potato is cooking, remove the stalks from 500g of cavolo nero and roughly chop the leaves.
  4. Once the timer for the potato sounds, add 500g of dried pappardelle to the saucepan and set a timer for 7 minutes. As soon as the water comes back up to a boil, add the cavolo nero leaves to the saucepan.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, melt 60g of butter in a large, deep frying pan (mine is 26cm) or a wok over a low heat. Once the butter melts, add 150g of 'nduja and stir it into the butter.
  6. Once the timer sounds for the pasta, scoop out a mug of the pasta water and set to one side. Check that the pasta is done (it should be al dente after 7 minutes - cook it for longer if you like) then drain the pasta, potato and cavolo nero into a colander and transfer to the frying pan with the 'nduja. Add a little of the pasta water and gently stir so that the pasta gets coated in the 'nduja - I use tongs to combine everything. Add more pasta water if the sauce looks dry.
  7. Taste and check the seasoning - I added a tiny bit of salt - then pour over a little extra virgin olive oil and stir once more. Transfer the pasta onto warm plates and drizzle with a little more olive oil.