I am still trying to get used to spring arriving so early. I love the warm weather but my mental clock is still on March time. I am more accustomed to seeing flowers come up in early May but this year we are seeing buds already. I hope this means that we will have a wonderfully long summer. There is something about walking in the sunshine that not only brightens your day, but also brightens up how you feel.
Before I move on to Sicily, I want to share a few more recipes with you from Tuscany. I made this hearty Tuscan noodle soup with cracked pepper fusilli and it was brimming with great flavour. Italians refer to this dark reddish black Kale as Cavalo Nero or black cabbage. Enjoy!
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 cup broken (2- to 3-inch pieces) fusilli or spaghetti pasta
2 quarts lower-salt chicken broth
1 small bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped (about 6 cups)
One 14-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and just golden-brown, about 8 minutes.
With a rubber spatula, scrape the vegetables into a medium bowl and set aside. If necessary, wipe the pot clean.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp. oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring often, until dark golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any stuck-on pasta. Add the carrots and onions, kale, beans, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the kale, carrots, and pasta are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the cilantro and season to taste with salt, and pepper before serving.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine