Black Kale and Broccolini Pasta

Black kale and broccolini pasta pinit View Gallery 3 photos

This recipe for black kale and broccolini pasta is an attempt to recreate an amazing meal we had on the Italian island of Prochida on Christmas day. We had arrived on Christmas day only to find out there was only one restaurant on the whole island that was open. Luckily it was a good one. We enjoyed many dishes including stuffed courgette flowers and swordfish steak. But by far the best dish was for a broccoli rabe and lemon pasta. Unfortunately, we can’t get broccoli rabe up here in the frozen north, but a mix of black kale and broccolini gets us most of the way there. The vegetables are chewy with a hint of bitterness which helps the lemon to pop.

This dish is easy to cook and comes together in the time it takes to cook the sauce. Or you can cook the sauce in advance and then re-heat it when the pasta is ready.

Serve this dish with garlic bread and a glass of wine.

Black Kale and Broccolini Pasta

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 15 mins Total Time 30 mins
Servings: 2



  1. Remove and discard the thick stem from the black kale. Finely chop both the black kale and broccolini.

    chopped black kale and broccolini
  2. Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile add the olive oil to a frying pan and turn on to a medium low heat.

  3. Add the garlic and fry for one minute until the garlic softens.

  4. Add the chopped black kale and broccolini and fry for about 5 minutes until the vegetables soften. You can add a little water if the vegetables are dry or starting to catch.

    cooking black kale and broccolini pasta
  5. While the vegetables are cooking add your pasta to the pot and cook according to the instructions until al dente.

  6. When the vegetables have softened add the crumbled dried chilis and fry for another minute.

  7. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and stock. Add a ladle of cooking water from the pasta pot and adjust the seasoning as needed.

    The pasta water will give the sauce a silky consistency.
  8. When the pasta is al dente add directly from the cooking pot to the vegetable sauce. Stir to coat the pasta and make sure everything is evenly mixed.

    cooking black kale and broccolini pasta
    Transferring the pasta directly adds a little more cooking water to the sauce and saves on washing up!
  9. Serve immediately with parmesan, garlic bread and a glass of wine.

    Black kale and broccolini pasta
Keywords: black kale, broccolini, pasta, Italian,
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