This quick and easy pasta dish will awaken you with its addicting heat and flavour, and is best made and enjoyed on a chilly and rainy day. Described by Nigella Lawson as a “fiery salami pâté”, this might also be the time to finally bust out and try cooking with the ‘nduja – or harissa if you’re vegetarian.
This recipe is featured in Nigella Lawson’s new BBC show which focuses on her favourite recipes for home-cooking. Nigella’s Eat, Cook, Repeat, premieres in Singapore on Monday, 16th August at 7.00pm, on StarHub channel 432 and BBC Player.
- 1 large floury potato, such as Rooster (approx. 300 g)
- 500 g cavolo nero or other kale or dark leafy greens
- 500 g pappardelle (preferably not egg pappardelle)
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 150 g ’nduja
- 3 x 15 ml tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
Fill a large pan with cold water, and add salt with abandon.
Peel the potato (as you want to help it break down a little as it cooks with the pasta) and cut it into 1 cm cubes, then add these to the pan of salted water and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, pull the leaves of the stalks of the cavolo nero, tear them into smaller pieces, and leave in a colander for now.
Once the water in the pan has come to a boil, cook the potato cubes for 10 mins, and then add the pappardelle; I don’t use egg pappardelle, but the sturdier durum wheat kind, which take around 7 mins to cook; if you have only the finer egg pappardelle, which take about half the time, add the cavolo nero to the water first. Give the pappardelle a good stir, and once the water has reached boiling point again, add the cavolo nero.
Set your timer for just under the recommended cooking time on your packet of pasta, though start checking before that, and get on with the sauce. I use something called a stir-fry pan for this, which looks like a large wok, really. You need a pan that’s big enough to take all the ingredients later, and with room to toss the pasta comfortably. Melt the butter gently in your pan of choice, and then, over low to medium heat, add the soft, squidgy, spicy ’nduja and stir it in to the butter to make a sauce.
When the pasta’s nearly ready, scoop out a cupful of pasta cooking water, andthen add about 3-4 tbsps to the buttery ’nduja, and stir it in.
Then, once the pasta is done and the cavolo nero soft, drain both and tip into the ’nduja pan. It doesn’t matter if the pappardelle and greens are wet; you will just have to add less water later.
Turn everything together carefully, as your pan will be very full indeed, and add more of the pasta-cooking water as needed to help emulsify the sauce.
Pour over the extra-virgin olive oil, and toss again, adding more if wished, and serve immediately. Bring the bottle to the table, to pour, greenly and greedily, over your pasta as you eat.
Text: Nigella Lawson