Four modern Italian recipes from The river Cafe
the river cafe is a london landmark and with River Cafe 30, owner ruth rogers celebrates three decades of modern italian recipes. She shares an excerpt with H&G
rigatoni with cavolo nero and olive oil Serves 6
This pasta is the celebration of two ingredients that arrive at the same time of the year – cavolo nero and the first pressed, peppery extravirgin olive oil.
1kg cavolo nero leaves 2 garlic cloves, peeled 250ml extra-virgin olive oil 500g rigatoni freshly grated Parmesan
1. When we started The river cafe in 1987, cavolo nero was nowhere to be found so we brought the seeds back from Italy. now you can find it everywhere – but only buy it after the first frost, and not after the winter months. 2. remove the stalks from the cavolo nero leaves, but keep the leaves whole. Blanch them in a generous amount of boiling salted water along with the garlic cloves for 5 minutes. drain. 3. Put the blanched cavolo nero and garlic into a food processor and pulse-chop to a purée. In the last couple of seconds of blending, pour in about 200ml of the extra-virgin olive oil. This will make a fairly liquid, dark green purée. season well. 4. cook the rigatoni in a generous amount of boiling salted water, then drain thoroughly. Put the pasta into a bowl, add the sauce and stir until each piece is thickly coated. 5. Pour over the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and serve with Parmesan.