A new turn on a traditional recipe - Testarolo con Cavolo Nero

I am on a pasta and greens kick!
Today, though, I used "testarolo" instead of pasta.

Testarolo is a specialty from the Lunigiana region of Tuscany. It is essentially a sort of flat bread, baked on a terracotta disk that is heated in the hot coals of a fireplace. It is usually made with a pesto sauce - see my recipe here .

So here we go.. for two generous servings you will need about 1/2 lb Fresh kale, washed with tough stems removed and chopped.
Testarola (you can substitute a short pasta) cut into bite size pieces
about 4 - 6 oz of short pasta
A slice of roast pork, baked ham or virginia ham, chopped
1 clove of garlic
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmigiano cheese

Put a large pot of water on to boil. When it comes to a boil, add salt (I used about 1 teaspoon of coarse kosher salt) and put the kale in to cook.

In the meantime, saute the ham and garlic in the 2T extra virgin olive oil. I use a non stick fry pan.

When the kale is cooked tender (about 15 minute at a slow boil), do not drain but put the cut up testarolo or pasta into the pot and continue cooking.
For testarolo it only needs to cook about 30 seconds. For the pasta, use the cooking time given on the package.
When the testarolo or pasta is cooked, drain in a colander, Transfer to the frying pan and toss over high heat until mixed well. Sprinkle with the grated parmigiano cheese and Buon Appetito!


What shall I make for dinner?

Tired of the same dishes over and over again, I opened my fridge and asked myself.. what can I make for dinner today??
Here is what caught my eye in the fridge... fresh spinach washed and ready to cook, gorgozola cheese... my wheels started turning... and this is what I came up with and dinner was on the table in 30 minutes start to finish!

Trofie pasta with spinach, gorgonzola and walnuts
Serves two

1 T butter
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic chopped finely
1/2 lb fresh spinach, washed and coarsely chopped

about 2 oz of gorgonzola cheese - I used a gorgonzola that I can buy here called "Duetto" - it is half gorgonzola and half mascarpone cheese
1 T cream, half 'n half or milk

1/2 c grated parmigiano cheese
6 walnuts, shelled and chopped

6 oz Trofie pasta or any short pasta

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. When it comes to a boil, add salt and pasta. While the pasta is cooking:

Put butter, olive oil and garlic in a large non-stick fry pan and saute the garlic over medium heat - do not let it get dark!!
Add the spinach (no water), a pinch of salt and cover the pan. The spinach will wilt and start cooking in its own juices. Lower heat if necessary.

When the spinach is cooked, add the gorgonzola cheese and cream, stir until the cheese is melted.

Add chopped walnuts, stir and remove from heat

By now your pasta is cooked. Drain it, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water, in case you need it.

Add the pasta to the cheese and spinach mix. Return to heat and toss well so that all of the pasta is coated with the condiment. If it seems dry, add a little of the water you reserved from cooking the pasta or another tablespoon or two of cream, half 'n half or milk.

Sprinkle with the parmigiano cheese and serve!

Buon appetito!