A Taste of Italy-Cavolo Nero Orecchiette Recipe

Embark on a culinary journey to Italy with our delightful Cavolo Nero Orecchiette Recipe. This dish captures the essence of Italian comfort food, blending the earthy flavors of Cavolo Nero (Tuscan kale) with perfectly al dente orecchiette pasta. The simplicity of this recipe allows the natural goodness of each ingredient to shine, creating a symphony of taste and texture on your palate. Whether you’re a fan of Italian cuisine or looking to explore new flavors, this recipe is a delicious invitation to the rustic charm of the Italian countryside. Join us as we guide you through the steps to recreate this authentic dish, bringing a taste of Italy to your table. Buon Appetito!

Food Region

Cavolo Nero Orecchiette is a classic Italian dish that showcases the fresh and vibrant ingredients of the Mediterranean region.

Food History

Italian cuisine is renowned for its emphasis on fresh and seasonal ingredients. Cavolo Nero, a type of kale, has been a staple in Italian cooking for centuries.


  • 8 oz (about 2 cups) of orecchiette pasta
  • 1 bunch of cavolo nero (black kale), stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional, for a touch of heat)

Cooking Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orecchiette pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for about a minute until fragrant.
  • Add the chopped cavolo nero to the skillet and saut√© for 5-7 minutes until it wilts and becomes tender.
  • Toss the cooked orecchiette pasta into the skillet with the cavolo nero. If the mixture seems dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta cooking water.
  • Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if desired. Toss to combine and heat through.
  • Serve your Cavolo Nero Orecchiette in bowls, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Serving Process

Cavolo Nero Orecchiette is best enjoyed hot, straight from the skillet. It pairs wonderfully with a simple green salad and a glass of crisp white wine.

Storing Process

Any leftovers of Cavolo Nero Orecchiette can be refrigerated and reheated for a delicious meal the next day.


Cavolo Nero Orecchiette is a testament to the beauty of Italian cuisine – simple, fresh ingredients that shine on the plate. The combination of hearty cavolo nero, perfectly cooked pasta, and zesty lemon zest creates a dish that’s both comforting and invigorating. Whether you’re a fan of Italian food or looking to explore new flavors, this recipe is a must-try.

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