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Cavolo Nero Pasta

Cavolo Nero Pasta

Brought to you by: Ocado
    6 serving
5.0 1 ratings Review this recipe

Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 6

Cavolo nero is the star of the show in this speedy, vegetarian 20-minute pasta dish. The stalks and leaves are both used to their full potential and shine even brighter due to the addition of sharp lemon zest, heat from the chilli flakes and the crunch of toasted pumpkin seeds. This pasta is perfect served on its own – or you could serve it with a side of a protein of your choosing. Looking for more pasta recipes? Look no further.
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  • 130ml extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tbsp
  • 200g cavolo nero, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
  • 3 medium courgettes, halved lengthways and chopped
  • 350g orecchiette pasta
  • 60g pumpkin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 lemons, juiced and 2 of them zested
  • 50g vegetarian Italian hard cheese, finely grated, plus extra to serve


Step 1

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the cavolo nero stalks and courgettes with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper for 10-15 mins or until almost soft. If the pan starts to dry out, add a splash of water. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the cavolo nero leaves for 2 mins, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Make sure the water comes back up to the boil, then cook the pasta according to the pack. Once softened, stir the juice and zest of 1 lemon through the cavolo nero stalks and courgette then take the pan off the heat and set aside.

Step 2

In a frying pan, toast the pumpkin seeds until golden brown, then set aside to cool to room temperature. Add the blanched cavolo nero leaves, garlic, chilli flakes, remaining lemon juice and zest, 40g of the toasted pumpkin seeds, 40g of the cheese and 130ml oil to a blender and blitz until almost smooth but with a little texture remaining. Add more oil if needed to achieve the desired consistency, then season to taste and set aside.

Step 3

Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water then drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the vegetables along with the pasta water and pesto. Mix well.

Step 4

Divide the pasta between 4 bowls and serve with the remaining toasted pumpkin seeds and cheese scattered on top.

Tips or serving suggestions

Substitute pumpkin seeds with walnuts, almonds or pine nuts.

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