Minestrone con Cavolo Nero

Watched Silvia Colloca cooking program called Cook like an Italian eight days ago. A friend gave me a bunch of cavolo nero. Another friend gave me a bit of the Nduja, it’s were spicy that’s what I love. I decided to cook what Silvia had showed on TV. Browsed her recipe on SBS, it didn’t have Nduja, but use leek and Brussel sprouts as showed on TV. I am confused why Silvia use Brussel sprouts which is not Italian ingredient in her show called cook like an Italian and recipe.

Google: “duja — pronounced, in Mazzei’s Calabrian accent, as in-DOOJ-ah — is made with pork fat, herbs and spices, along with spicy Calabrian peppers, which give nduja chili heat and a distinctive red colour. It originated in Vibo Valentia province, and much of it still comes from the town of Spilinga.”

“Fava beans in the US, they use the Italian word fava. In Australia we use the English term ”broad bean”, from the Germanic tradition. Look for fresh broad beans at greengrocers and farmers markets and dried broad beans at Mediterranean delis. Fava beans are creamy, earthy, nutty, slightly sweet, and slightly bitter. Some people say they have a slight cheesy flavour.”

“Lacinato kale or, in Italian and often in English, cavolo nero is a variety of kale with a long tradition in Italian cuisine, especially that of Tuscany. It is also known as Tuscan kale, Italian kale, dinosaur kale, kale, flat back kale, palm tree kale, or black Tuscan palm. A good source of two antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which play a role in eye health, especially in older people. It has a pleasantly tangy, bitter flavour, with a sweet aftertaste.”

I am glad to use Nduja, and fava beans along with cavolo nero. I have made this healthy comforting, spicy and delicious soup. Will have to look for Nduja or try making my own of course through browsing the Nduja recipes. Let’s cook!!!


3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
6 cavolo nero leaves, stalk removed, shredded
1 small piece of speck
1 red chili, seeded and cut thinly
2 Tbs minced garlic
1 Tbs Nduja
2 small carrots, sliced
200 g tomatoes, chopped
180 g risoni
150 g fava beans
60 g grated Parmesan Pecorino cheese
650 ml vegetables stock
black pepper
grated Parmesan Pecorino cheese, serving


In a pot on medium heat, add in oil cook for 10-15 seconds, when it’s hot add in chili and garlic cook for about 30 seconds. Now add in carrots, cook for about 3 minutes. Next add in speck, cook about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pot and cut to small bite set aside.

Now add in tomatoes, 60 g grated Parmesan Pecorino cheese and vegetables stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes until carrots are tender. Season to taste, add in the shredded cavolo nero, Nduja, fava beans and risoni. Cook for about 7-8 minutes or until the pasta is nicely al dente. Turn off hob. Serve hot with a drizzle of oil, cut pieces speck and sprinkles grated parmesan or pecorino. Enjoy!!!!!

Note: You can omit chili and Nduja if you can’t take it spicy. You can add 6-7 Brussel sprouts, outer leaves removed, quartered, 1 celery, sliced 1 leek, well washed and thinly sliced, 2 potatoes, 2 cups of fresh borlotti beans (or two tins, well rinsed. Alternatively, soak 2 cups of dried beans for 12 hours, then cook in simmering water for 2 hours) like Silvia Colloca recipe.