Cavolo Nero – The Black Cabbage

For those of you who haven’t heard of cavolo nero – apparently many haven’t – it’s an Italian variety of loose leafed cabbage, known for its dark, rich colour. Closely related to kale, it’s rather a hardy vegetable, but shouldn’t be mistreated; overcooking is the cardinal sin. Black Tuscan kale, or cavolo nero, is starting to gain popularity in these parts (personally I prefer it to the common curly kale).
Cavolo nero contains glucosinolates such as glucoraphanin. Glucosinolates in black kale are well-known precursors to isothiocyanates. Studies suggest that foods rich in isothiocyanates may help prevent cancer and even suppress the growth of tumors. Isothiocyanates’ anti-cancer effects have been attributed to their ability to eliminate potential carcinogens from the body, reduce DNA damage, and facilitate the self-destruction of cancerous cells.

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Cavolo Nero also has some interesting properties that could prove to be beneficial to MS patients. It is also among the most antioxidant-rich foods on Earth

In brief here are reasons why you should add Cavolo Nero to your diet:

  • Kill Cancer.
  • Fix Respiratory Problems.
  • Get X-Ray Vision.
  • Titanium Bones.
  • Crush Disease.
  • Detox Your Liver.
  • Feel Amazing.
  • Live Longer.
  • Lower Cholesterol.

Now Try This Recipe: Cavolo Nero with Pasta and Almonds

What You  Need:
200g Wholemeal Penne
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, mashed
a large handful of cavolo nero, thickly sliced
a pinch of salt
1 large red chilli. finely sliced
40g almonds, whole
a twist of black pepper
a few shavings of parmesan cheese
Let’s Get Cooking:

  • Pop your penne on to boil in generously salted water. Don’t overcook it, 10 minutes is enough.
  • Meanwhile, take a large pan and gently fry the garlic in the olive oil. After 30 seconds add the sliced cavolo nero and pop the lid on.
  • Cook the cavolo nero on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until slightly wilted. In a separate pan toast the whole almonds until golden brown.
  • Drain the pasta and allow to steam dry for 30 seconds. Return to the pot and stir through the cavolo nero, almonds, salt and chilli.
  • Serve immediately with a twist of black pepper and few shavings of parmesan cheese.

With a large bunch of the Cavolo Nero costing in the region of €1.00, the amount used in this recipe is about 75 cents worth.  Half a bag of whole meal penne, (this recipe – enough for two) – should set you back no more than €2.50. For meat lovers, add pancetta or poached chicken to the pasta.

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