This is inspired by the hearty one pot stews I used to eat as a child, colloquially known in Spain as “comida de cuchara”, which translated means a meal eaten with a spoon. My own recipe is lighter than some of the stews I remember from my childhood, but just as tasty.
It is typically Mediterranean in that it contains a cornucopia of ingredients, slow cooked on the hob to create a luscious dish full of rich, spicy flavour.
Cavolo Nero which means “Black Cabbage” in Italian, is the King of Kale. Its distinctive long, green puckered leaves add a sweet and robust flavour to soups, sauces and stews. It is high in iron, antioxidants and vitamins, including A, C and K.
To Prep Cavolo Nero:
Before chopping the leaves, cut away the wider part of the stems as these tend to be tough. The top of the stems are softer so these can be left on and chopped together with the leaves into bite sized pieces (about 1 cm thick). You can freeze the tougher stems to use when you want to make stronger flavoured vegetable stock.
- 200g cavolo nero
- 1 onion
- 1 courgette
- 1 carrot
- 1 red or green pepper
- 2 vine or plum tomatoes
- 2 potatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 mini cooking chorizos (or 2-3 medium sized ones)
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 heaped tsp Pimentón (either the sweet or hot variety)
- 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 tspn chopped parsley
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Peel and chop the vegetables and cavolo nero into small pieces.
- Use a large heavy bottomed pan to fry the onion, carrot and pepper in olive oil until they start to soften. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
- Then add the stock and tomatoes. After about a minute, scoop the tomatoes out of the pan and skin, quarter and return back to the pot to continue cooking.
- Add the cavolo nero, chorizo, pimentón.
- Cook gently for about 25 minutes.
- Add the drained can of chickpeas, season and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until all the vegetables have softened.
- You can crush some of the chickpeas with a spoon to thicken the sauce. Adjust seasoning, if required.
- Let the stew stand for a few minutes before serving as this allows the flavour to develop further. Serve with hunks of rustic bread to mop up the delicious broth.
Cook’s notes-Vegetarian/ vegan option
Omit the chorizo and bump up the taste by adding cumin and chilli flakes.