California Central Coast Recipes

Flowering Kale and Cauliflower with Capanelle Pasta

If you're in the vegetable section of your market and see some gorgeous purple flowering kale, buy it! You can turn this photogenic vegetable into a low-cost meal that's quite delicious!

I like to cook this type of kale similar to some of our other recipes that I've shared before. Using "my basic formula" similar to the way I cook Dandelion Greens with Toasted Walnuts and Pasta I turned this into a nice vegetable-based meal. And it tastes as good as it looks! ©2017, Flowering Kale and Cauliflower with Capanelle Pasta
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


1 head Flowering Kale , tough stems removed, and remaining kale cut into lengthwise strips (Save a few kale leaves-uncooked- to use as garnish.)
1/2 head White Cauliflower , tough stems removed and then remaining cauliflower cut into segments
3 to 4 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive oil
1/2 large Sweet white onion , thinly sliced and segments separated into individual strands
Optional 2 medium cloves garlic , chopped
4 ounces Pancetta , diced
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 pound Capanelle pasta or other pasta
1 cup Cotija cheese , freshly grated

Preparation Directions.

1 Bring several quarts of water to boiling in a large stockpot. Add a couple tablespoons salt to the water.

2 While the water is coming to a boil, trim and discard the thickest stems from the kale and cauliflower. Slice the cauliflower into florets and the kale into lengthwise strips.

3 Parboil the kale and the cauliflower in the boiling water for 2 minutes or until slightly tender but still firm. Remove from water, drain and set aside.

4 Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the Pancetta to the pan and saute until browned

5 Add the onion separating the ring segments into individual strands. Saute until softened and lightly golden. Add the garlic (if using) and saute until just fragrant (be careful not to burn the garlic it will turn bitter).

6 Turn up the heat to medium, add the white wine to the stockpot and reduced the wine by half.

7 Reduce the heat to medium low and add the kale and cauliflower to the stockpot and saute until just tender, about three to five minutes.

8 Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

9 In the meantime, in a separate pasta pot, bring water to boiling over high heat. When boiling, stir in a tablespoon of salt, then add the pasta. Cook stirring occasionally until al dente, or as directed on pasta package.

10 When pasta is done, drain the pasta and add to the stockpot with the flowering kale and cauliflower mixture. Toss well to coat the pasta thoroughly. Correct seasoning to taste.

11 Serve on dinner plates and top pasta with some freshly grated Cotija cheese. Accent with a few uncooked kale leaves as garnish.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Ideally serve with a dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay

A tip from Sue!

Choosing a pot

The first thing you to do is get decent cookware. Nothing is more serviceable than stainless steel, thatís what the pros use and is mandated for all commercial restaurants.

Save yourself a lot of trouble and get the best quality stainless steel that you can afford. A few basic sizes will take you a long way!