A really unusual, vibrant way to use seasonal black cabbage, you are effectively making a pesto from it. This is an effortless vegetarian dish, really easy and fast to make. Surprisingly it is not overtly cabbagey, just deeply 'green' tasting. Again, apologies for the slightly blurry image, I took this in the middle of service under the hot lights. For four:
Cavolo nero - 500g picked weight
Garlic - 3 large cloves
Butter - 125g, room temperature
Parmesan - 300g, grated
Fresh basil - small handful
Extra virgin olive oil - 50ml
Quality linguine - 60 to 80g per person depending on how hungry you are
Quality ricotta - 250g
Red Chilli - 2, seeds in or out, cut into thin strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Boil a large pan of salted water. Pick the dark green leaves from the fibrous stems, keep the leaves, lose the stems. Roughly chop the greens and blanch for 2 to 3 mins in boiling water. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and refresh under very cold or preferably iced water - this stops the vivid green colour from fading. Drain the cavolo nero and give it a good squeeze dry leaving a little moisture in it. Then in a food processor blend the cavolo nero, the butter, garlic, 250g of the parmesan, olive oil, basil and a good season of salt and pepper until you achieve a pesto like consistency.
Put the pan of water back on the stove and return to the boil. Cook the pasta in the same water following the packet instructions to achieve 'al dente' consistency. Drain the pasta retaining a little pasta water. Warm the cavolo pesto in a large pan on the stove, toss in the pasta and mix well. Taste and season more if required. If the end result is a little dry, add some of the retained pasta water.
Plate up into 4 large bowls, top with the remainder of the parmesan, a nice dollop of ricotta and the chilli.