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Healthy Eating, Mains, Quick and Easy, Sides, Vegetarian

Buckwheat pasta with kale, potatoes and cabbage (pizzoccheri)

Buckwheat pasta with kale, potatoes and cabbage (pizzoccheri)
Christina House / For The Times

Pasta is the last place most of us would think to look for potatoes — and I don’t consider gnocchi a pasta. But they play key roles in some of my favorite Italian dishes. Diced potatoes and trenette, a narrow ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
  • 3 medium-size Yukon gold potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch cubes, or the equivalent weight fingerling potatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/2 pound black or curly kale (usually 1 bunch), stemmed
  • 3 cups shredded green or savoy cabbage (1/4 medium cabbage)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, cut in thin slivers
  • Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ pound buckwheat pasta (pizzoccheri or soba) or whole wheat fettuccine
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 ounces Fontina or Gruyère cheese, in 1/4-inch dice

Step 1In a steaming basket set over 1 inch of boiling water, steam the potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Step 2Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the kale. Blanch just until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Fill a bowl with cold water and strain the kale from the boiling water to the cold water, then drain, taking the kale up by the handful and squeezing out any excess water. Cut the blanched kale crosswise into strips and set aside.

Step 3Bring the water back to a boil and add the cabbage. Blanch 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Strain into the bowl of cold water, then drain and squeeze out excess water. Set aside with the kale.

Step 4In a large, heavy skillet heated over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and the oil. Add the leeks and sage and cook, stirring often, until the leeks begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring often, until the leeks are tender, an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic smells fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the remaining butter, the blanched kale, cabbage and steamed potatoes, and stir together over medium heat until the mixture is tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.

Step 5Bring the water back to a boil, add the pasta and cook to al dente. When the pasta is done, add 1/2 cup of the cooking water to the pan with the vegetables, then drain the pasta and add it to the pan or to a warm pasta bowl with the vegetables and the cheeses. Toss together and serve at once.


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