Can you tell I’ve been cooking more recently? Due to a number of factors, we just haven’t been going out as often in the last month and that’s meant more action in the kitchen. With the exception of last week (dang, that was a lot of Chinese takeaways!), I’ve been cooking more on weekdays too. And here’s a recipe that turns up quite often.
I’d say that when I buy cavolo nero at the farmers’ market, chances are I’ll use it for this spaghetti dish (as evinced by these other photos!). The combination of savoury sausage and greenery and tomatoiness is mighty tasty and it’s quick to put together for a weekday dinner. Leftovers also keep very well and make a fine packed lunch the next day.
So look out for some cavolo nero at your local farmers’ market! Kale is also good here but it is more bitter than cavolo nero – it also takes longer to cook so you might want to blanch it before adding it to the sauce.
Spaghetti with Sausage and Cavolo Nero
200g spaghetti (we used spaghettini)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 sausages, peeled and chopped roughly
splash of dry sherry or white wine (optional)
200g cherry tomatoes or 3 large tomatoes, chopped roughly
2 tbsps tomato paste
1 small bunch cavolo nero, washed, trimmed and chopped roughly
olive oil (regular for cooking and extra virgin for finishing)
salt and pepper to taste
In a saute pan, heat about 2 tbsps olive oil over medium heat. Fry the onion until it’s gone soft and translucent. Add chili flakes and the chopped sausage meat, breaking up the meat as you’re frying it. When the meat is cooked, add the sherry/wine and let the liquid cook off. Add the chopped fresh tomatoes and the tomato paste and let the tomatoes cook down. Add a little water if it’s looking too dry but the fresh tomatoes should exude quite a lot.
In the meantime, bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt, and boil your spaghetti in the salted water.
When the tomato has cooked down (add sugar if needed), add the chopped cavolo nero to the saute pan and add a bit of water if the tomato mixture is too dry. Stir through and slap a lid on the pan. Cook until the cavolo nero is cooked to your liking – you might need to give it a stir here and there. Salt to taste and add a good grinding of fresh black pepper.
Drain your spaghetti when al dente and stir through the sauce, finishing with a final healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.