The discussion of winter savoy cabbage in the thread below reminded me of this kale recipe from the first River Cafe Cookbook by Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers. They also have other ideas for this Italian kale (braised, bruschetta, polenta) in their books 1 & 2. Their recipes are often based on just a few quality ingredients so a nice tasting olive oil will help the end result.
It's one of my favorite easy pasta dishes with a bright, pesto-like appearance and a sweet, nutty flavor from the kale. It coats pasta beautifully. With more cavolo nero being grown, it should be easier to find at places like Whole Foods and farmer's mkts. I've substituted with greens such as spinach, chard, and collards (may try a bit of savoy now that I think about it), but cavolo nero gives a unique silkiness to the sauce. Personal note: for whatever strange reason, Mr. Creosote despises farfalle so we use linguini or spaghetti. Here it is...enjoy.
Farfalle al Cavolo Nero con Olio Nuovo
(Farfalle and black cabbage with new oil -rough translation, I didn't write it in Italian to seem clever)
2 1/2 lbs cavolo nero leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled
8 fl. oz extra virgin oil
9 oz. farfalle
Parmesan, freshly grated
Trim the stalks by snipping out the middle and keeping the leaves whole. In a big pot of boiling salted water, blanch the leaves with 2 cloves of garlic for a few brief minutes. Remove and drain off as much water as possible. In a food processor or blender, place leaves and blanched garlic. Pulse/blend until a coarse puree. During the last moments, add 2 1/2 fl oz of the oil. Now you'll have a dark, liquidy puree.
Along with 1 t of sea salt, crush the other 2 garlic cloves. Add this to the puree along with another 2 1/2 fl oz of oil. Taste and season with more salt and pepper.
In a large pot of salted water, cook your pasta. Drain completely. Add the pasta to the sauce and combine until each piece is generously covered. Add the rest of the olive oil. Serve with parmesan.