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Mezze sleeves with black cabbage pesto

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Usually at this point in the year I roll up my sleeves and start checking the pantry doing a quick check of everything there is. The approach of spring pushes me to become aware of what could develop mold or insects, ruining a small archive of excellent products that, let's face it, cost an arm and a leg.

I haven't done it forever, I don't pride myself on such impeccable organization. It was the experience. Yes, the encounter with the wheat weevil a few years ago upset me so much (or made me angry) that I don't want to replicate that afternoon spent throwing packages of flour, legumes, dried fruit, rice and artisanal biscuits into a black bag.

March is therefore the month in which I start to get rid of some perishable ingredients and secure those that require a little more care.

I chose to start with a small bag of walnuts, opened a while ago, bought in October to prepare the pabasinas and then forget it there. They were already shelled nuts and therefore easier.

With the leftover walnuts I made a “pesto” with sautéed black cabbage and lots of Parmesan. I took the doses from Giulia-Juls who had already prepared a very fine pesto with the black cabbage to season homemade tagliatelle. She had used almonds and Tuscan pecorino which together with the black cabbage made hers a 100% Tuscan pesto. In my case the cabbage was from my father's garden, the walnuts from the Terre di Romagna and the Parmesan, mine, in her way, became a 100% Romagna pesto.

With the doses indicated in the recipe you get a slightly more abundant quantity of seasoning, my advice is to try it on some slices of toasted bread and prepare some last minute croutons for dinner.

My kitchen decluttering starts here 😉

Mezze sleeves with black cabbage pesto

for 2 people + some croutons

250 g of black cabbage
1 clove of garlic
100 ml of extra virgin olive oil
60 g at night
50 g of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
sale q.b.

Remove the toughest stems from the kale leaves. Rinse the leaves under running water and then collect them in a large pan with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a whole clove of garlic.
Cook the black cabbage over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until it softens. Let it cool.
Toast the walnuts in the pan for about 5 minutes, turning them occasionally to prevent them from burning. Let them cool.
Transfer the kale to a blender along with the walnuts and Parmesan. Blend, adding the oil little by little.
Transfer the pesto to a bowl and season with salt, if necessary. If it is still too thick, add a little more extra virgin olive oil.

Bring salted water to the boil. Cook the half sleeves for the time indicated on the package. Set aside some cooking water. Drain the pasta and pour it into a bowl in which you have put a few spoonfuls of pesto on the bottom and part of the cooking water to soften it, then add the pasta and stir it well. If necessary, add more pesto and Parmesan.

With the remaining pesto, season some croutons that you have toasted in a pan.

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