A 5 ingredient Supper Rigatoni with Cavolo Nero

by Tracey on March 2, 2020

It’s nice to share recipes especially those that are going to make you feel good, and today I am sharing one of my favourite midweek recipes which I always include once a month because it is quick, easy and very nutritious.  When I made the decision a couple of years ago to move over to a more plant-based diet 80% of the time, I knew that this recipe was one to add to my list because it mainly consisted of dark green leafy veg. 

I came across this recipe in a food magazine[1] that I subscribed to courtesy of the River Café[2] a seasonal Italian restaurant in Hammersmith, London.

Although you can find a variety of pasta that now come in whole grain, which is my preferred choice of pasta, why because it is rich in fibre and have fewer calories, unfortunately, rigatoni does not.  Rigatoni pasta pieces are  a little larger than penne pasta and absorbs the juices from the olive oil and cavolo nero mix very well, making the supper a delight to your taste buds.

Just 5 ingredients and  15 minutes make this dish the perfect mid-week supper, as it is quick,  nutrient-rich and a great energy booster.   For anyone wanting to change their current dietary habits as they often feel lethargic and lack energy, I always encourage my clients to eat more complex carbohydrates as it is the best choice for energy and feeling good.

Rigatoni with Cavolo Nero


1kg cavolo nero

2 garlic cloves, peeled

250ml extra-virgin olive oil

500g rigatoni

Parmesan, freshly grated

A plate of food with broccoli

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  1. Remove the stalks from the cavolo nero leaves, but keep the leaves whole. Blanch them in a generous amount of boiling, salted water along with the garlic cloves for 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. Put the blanched cavolo nero and garlic into a food processor and pulse-chop to a purée. In the last couple of seconds of blending, pour in about 200ml of the extra-virgin olive oil. This will make a fairly liquid, dark green purée. Season well.
  3. Cook the rigatoni in a generous amount of boiling salted water, then drain thoroughly. Put the pasta into a bowl, add the sauce and stir until each piece is thickly coated. Pour over the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and serve with Parmesan.

According to checkyourfood.com, a bowl of this pasta contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals not limited but including A, B6, C & K, manganese, copper & iron plus more.  The majority of which will contribute to bone health, supporting the immune system, reducing tiredness and fatigue and helping with energy creation[3].   Plus the olive oil will count to work your daily recommend fat allowance which should be 30% of your daily diet.

[1] https://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/recipe/rigatoni-recipe-from-the-river-cafe-cookbook

[2] Recipe:  The River Café Restaurant

[3] https://www.checkyourfood.com/ingredients/ingredient/1328/cavolo-nero-black-kale

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