Porcini Mushroom and Cavolo Nero Linguini {Recipe}

This bowl of deliciousness is actually a pasta I randomly made out of necessity for lunch one day. It was the day before we went for our weekly shop, and the fridge was looking sparce. I was out of most things except for a bit of cavolo nero (black kale) and leftover raw red bell pepper. I had some dried porcini mushrooms in the cupboard and decided to use it as well.

The result turned out to be delicious and filling.I'm still shocked at how good it turned out. Suraj and I probably polished off enough for 4 hefty servings. Whatever. It had vegetables in it, so that's how I justify it. (Hah!)

Cavolo nero is also known as black kale. A lovely dark leafy green, it's more texturised, yet not as bitter as the more common curly kale. I like add a bit of red bell pepper to any kale dish in an effort to naturally remove any bitterness. Even kiddo will eat kale if there is some red bell pepper sautéed along with it.

Porcini Mushroom & Cavolo Nero Linguini

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • Linguini pasta
  • Cavolo Nero, stems removed
  • Dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 diced red bell pepper
  • Béchamel sauce

METHOD:

  1. Create béchamel sauce. Start with a roux of equal parts fat and flour. Mix together and cook, but do not let it turn brown. Slowly add milk to create your ideal consistency. I used 3TBSP butter to flour ratio. I also added dried seasonings to taste including granulated onion, garlic powder, nutmeg powder, salt, and white pepper. You can add a bay leaf as well.
  2. Boil linguini and season with salt and a drizzle olive oil. This should take 10-15 minutes. When cooked, drain and retain about 1/2 cup of the water. You will need the starchy pasta water to enhance the sauce (trust me).
  3. Take dried porcini mushrooms and tear into smaller pieces. Rehydrate by soaking for 20 minutes in hot water. Drain and set aside.
  4. Take washed and chopped kale, and sauté in a shallow pan with a bit of olive oil. Add chopped bell pepper, followed by porcini. Season with a bit of salt and cook together for about 5 minutes. If the vegetables start to dry up too quickly, it means the heat is too high. Turn down the heat and add a bit of water to slow down the cooking process.
  5. Add cooked linguini to the pan, and quickly toss together. Add sauce. As it thickens, add some of the pasta water to thin it out to your desired consistency.
  6. Cook for a few minutes, then check to make sure the seasoning is to your preference. Serve while hot.

Happy eats! Enjoy with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, chilli flakes, or by itself.

Xoxo.