A dark green flavorful pesto made with Cavolo Nero, or Tuscan Kale, a winter super food with many health benefits which is very much used in Tuscan cuisine. A soft and creamy Burrata on top will make this pasta unforgettably delicious.
Do you know the saying “You don’t know what you have until you lose it”? It applies to so many things in my life, especially after I moved from Italy to the Netherlands.
I never appreciated Italy when I was living there. All the negative things that were happening in my life, I was blaming them on my Country. Close minded, stuck in the past and unfair Italy. And in all this negativity, I never paid attention to the good things of this Country: the beautiful landscapes and history in every city, the delicious food and the most flavorful produce, the art, the music, the markets, the aperitif, the community. You don’t know what you have until you lose it.
Different Country, different ingredients
I started food blogging in Italy, in 2013, but soon after I started, I moved to the Netherlands with my boyfriend. Before moving, I remember my only worry was that I wouldn’t be able to see the stars anymore because of the fame of Holland of being always cloudy and cold. What I didn’t know is that I would be able to still see the stars (sometimes), but I wouldn’t be able to find artichokes, San Marzano tomatoes, Porcini mushrooms, Cavolo Nero, and many more essential Italian ingredients. Who would have thought?
The funny thing about the Netherlands, is that it evolves, it follows the trends. One day you can suddenly find ingredients at the supermarket that you’ve never seen before. This year it was Cavolo Nero.
I’ve been searching for Cavolo Nero, an essential ingredient in Tuscan cooking, for years. Always looking in every market stall and supermarkets. Last year I even tried to grow it myself in my terrace, but we only got a couple of leaves.
Then, a couple of months ago I see it. There, in the produce isle of my usual supermarket. A big bunch of Cavolo Nero leaves, beautiful dark green long bubbly leaves. I was happy.
What is Cavolo Nero
Cavolo Nero literally means Black Cabbage. This name is given by its dark green leaves, that once cooked become almost black in color. It’s also known as Dinosaur Kale, because of its long and sturdy leaves.
It’s part of the Brassica family and it’s consider a winter super food, because of its high content of Iron, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Omega-3 and Calcium. Some studies even say that it can prevent some types of cancer. Read more about why Tuscan Kale is good for you.
What is Burrata
Burrata is originally made in the south of Italy, but it’s very common all throughout the Country. It is part of the Mozzarella family, made with the same ingredients and process as Mozzarella, until the final step. Instead of making a cheese ball, it’s hollowed and made into a bag, then filled with a mixture of shredded remains of Mozzarella cheese, called Stracciatella, with cream.
When you cut open the Burrata, a flow of creamy deliciousness will pour onto the plate. The flavor is mild, almost sweet, so it’s usually accompanied with charcuterie and cold meats or salads.
Pesto is originally from Liguria and is made with Basil leaves and pine nuts. You can also check the recipe for the original Basil Pesto. During the years people experimented a variety of different pesto, using the same technique and basic ingredient as the original one (oil, garlic, cheese and nuts) and changing the green element. Some variants include Arugula Pesto, Spinach Pesto or Tarragon Pesto.
Cavolo Nero Pesto with Burrata
- 6 leaves Cavolo Nero
- 1/2 clove Garlic
- 10 g (1/8 cup) Almonds
- 2 tbsp Parmigiano cheese grated
- 1 Burrata Mozzarella
- EV Olive Oil
- 350 g (12 oz.) Spaghetti pasta
- Bring to boil a large pot of salted water and cook the spaghetti for the amount of time indicated in the box.
- Wash and pat dry the kale leaves, then with a knife cut out the central stem.
- Roughly chop the leaves and toss them in a blender with the almonds, garlic, Parmgiano cheese and salt.
- Blend for a few seconds, then slowly start adding the olive oil, a little bit at a time.
- Keep blending and adding oil until the pesto becomes creamy.
- Drain the pasta and toss it again in the pot with the pesto, until it’s uniformly coated.
- Serve the pasta in the plates, then add a couple of tablespoons of Burrata on top.
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