Cavatelli & Baby Kale

“Cavatelli and Broccoli” rolls off the tongue a lot easier than “Cavatelli and Baby Kale” but it satisfies the taste buds sitting on the tongue, just the same or pretty close. As many times as I’ve tried to make cavatelli and broccoli at home, it doesn’t come out as good as from a restaurant. But if I’m completely honest here, I like when the cavatelli and broccoli are slicked with garlicky oil and I like to dip my bread into the pools of oil sitting on the bottom of the plate, (no judgement please, lol) slick and shiny, resembling mini ice skating rinks. My bread, being skates, gliding along the slippery plate. So, I’ve given up recreating the exact dish at home but have found a nice substitute for the broccoli found in the salad section, baby kale. And it makes a nice dish at home that’s quick, easy and tasty. Perfect for this hustling and bustling time of year. Enjoy!

  • 13 oz. bag frozen cavatelli
  • 3 cups tightly packed baby kale, roughly chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, smashed and finely minced
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus a drizzle for the pasta water 
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, bring the water up to a boil and add in the bouillon cube and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir well, so the bouillon cube dissolves. Add more salt if needed. Toss in your cavatelli and cook for about 5 minutes, until they rise to the top. Drain them and reserve 1/4 cup or more of the pasta water. In the meantime, in a large pan, combine the garlic, butter and olive oil and saute on low heat, stirring often until the garlic turns nice and soft, if you see it beginning to brown, add a tablespoon or two of the pasta water to slow down the cooking process. Once the garlic is soft, toss in the kale until wilted. It doesn’t take long at all for it to wilt. Toss in the cavatelli and 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Season with sea salt if needed and fresh ground black pepper. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and give it a nice toss. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil if you like. Makes 2-3 servings.