Rainbow Chard, Cavolo Nero Pasta with Roast Hazelnuts Basil Pesto


I made something similar to this when I was at my sister’s in the Cotswolds a few weeks back.  I picked some kale and pink chard from her vegetable garden and added in a pesto to bulk up the flavour.  I found a corn spaghetti to mix in but any pasta would be great.  I’ve kept this vegan but when I first made it I grated over some goat’s cheese gouda which is a wonderfully strong cheese and it makes a nice change from parmesan.


Serves 4


320g corn pasta

1 shallot, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

stalks from the basil, finely chopped

100g cavolo nero, roughly chopped (stalks finely chopped)

200g rainbow chard, roughly chopped (stalks finely chopped)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

juice of half a lemon

4 tbsp white wine

sea salt and black pepper

For the hazelnut pesto

150g blanched hazelnuts, lightly toasted

1 garlic clove, smashed into a paste

100g fresh basil leaves

130ml extra virgin olive oil

4 tbsp sherry vinegar

1/2 tbsp maple syrup or good pinch of unrefined caster sugar

zest of 2 lemons and the juice of 1

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper

Set a large saucepan to a high heat with some salted water and bring to the boil.

Add all the pesto ingredients together into a blender and mix to a rough sauce.  Taste to check the seasoning and put to one side.

Set a large frying pan to a medium to high heat and add the olive oil to warm.  Next add the basil stalks and chopped shallot letting them soften for about 2 minutes.  Then add the mashed garlic and mix everything around the pan for a minute before adding in the chopped cavolo nero and chard.  Leave this to cook and soften for about 5 minutes.  While this fries you can add the pasta to the boiling water and cook following the instructions.  When the greens have reduced in size pour over the white wine, salt, pepper, lemon juice and reduce the heat.  When the pasta is ready use tongs to scoop the pasta straight in with the greens and the pesto adding a little smash of the pasta water.  Toss everything together seasoning once more to check the seasoning.

Eat straight away!

Nina ParkerComment