Anna Jones’s kale recipes | Life and elegance


January is all about wintry greens similar to kale, which brings a vivid and recent word to verdant garlic pasta, and a deep and wealthy 1 to a hearty soup

Anna Jones’s version of the hearty Italian soup ribollita.

Anna Jones’s model of the hearty Italian veg-based soup, ribollita. Photograph: Emma Lee for the Guardian

I am in a inexperienced part, and drawn like a moth to sea-green velvet cushions and attire, whereas the tear sheets for my new kitchen are an almost-black inexperienced. I’m positive that is all impressed by the minerally winter greens of the season, that are ever-present in my cooking proper now. The majestic cavolo nero – an intense black-blue inexperienced that’s laborious to match – is most lovely when moist, with tiny droplets of water operating down its dusty leaves. Or the pleasingly curly kale with its forest-green frills (or, in the event you’re fortunate, deep burgundy-purple ones). The verdant freshness of those greens has me utilizing them day by day at the moment of yr: listed below are 2 of my favourites.

Ribollita (major image)

My model of the traditional Italian soup with kale, white beans, tomatoes, bread and many good oil. It takes some time to make as a result of it has just a few levels, however the finish result’s so wealthy and layered in flavour that it’s price taking the time. I take advantage of the rind of a chunk of parmesan so as to add depth; the ribollita will nonetheless be great with out however, you probably have any, it’s a approach to make use of up one thing that might in any other case be wasted.

Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Serves 6

Olive oil for cooking
2 crimson onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
6 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped, yellow leaves reserved
1 small bunch recent parsley, roughly chopped
1 × 400g tin plum tomatoes
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
Parmesan rind (I take advantage of a vegetarian 1), non-compulsory
1 × 400g tin white beans, liquid reserved
3 large handfuls cavolo nero or kale (about 400g), leaves stripped off stalks and roughly chopped
2 litres vegetable inventory
4 slices good-quality bread (greatest if it’s a bit stale)
Extra-virgin olive oil, to complete

Heat a bit oil in a big saucepan and fry the onions, garlic, carrot and celery over a medium warmth for about 30 minutes, till tender, candy and barely caramelised. Add many of the parsley and prepare dinner for a couple of minutes extra.

Add the tomatoes, potato and parmesan rind, if utilizing, squashing the tomatoes with a wood spoon, and prepare dinner on a low warmth for 15 minutes, stirring every so often, by which period the tomato liquid ought to be virtually utterly absorbed and the veg ought to look fairly dry. Add the beans, tin juices and all, cavolo nero and the inventory, convey to a mild simmer, and depart to prepare dinner for 30 minutes.

Turn off the warmth and lay the slices of bread on prime of the soup, like a lid. Generously drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and depart to take a seat for 10 minutes or so.

Stir to mix every thing – the soup ought to be thick, virtually stewy and deeply scrumptious – season with salt, pepper, extra parsley, the yellow celery leaves and extra extra-virgin olive oil. Ladle into bowls and serve.

The soup will thicken because it cools, so you probably have leftovers, add extra scorching inventory or water and reheat gently.

Pasta with kale pesto and crispy garlic greens

Two textures from 1 favorite winter inexperienced on this speedy weeknight pasta: a bright-green kale sauce and a kale and garlic crunch. The sauce comes collectively within the time it takes to prepare dinner the pasta. This is my go-to type of cooking: fast to convey collectively, however attention-grabbing and sophisticated to eat.

Speedy weeknight pasta with crisp garlicky kale topping.

Speedy weeknight kale pasta with a crisp, garlicky kale topping. Photograph: Emma Lee/Emma Lee (commissioned)

Prep 5 min
Cooking 20 min
Serves 4

800g kale (or cavolo nero), leaves stripped off the stalks and torn into bite-size items
Salt and black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pinch dried chilli flakes, or to style
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
400g dried pasta – I take advantage of rigatoni
100g parmesan (I take advantage of a vegetarian 1), grated

Put a 3rd of the kale in a bowl, add a bit salt and olive oil, and scrunch all of it up along with your fingers. Add the dried chilli and grind of black pepper, then depart it to take a seat.

Fill a big pan with very effectively salted water – it ought to be salty like the ocean – and convey to a boil.

Meanwhile, put 4 tablespoons of oil and the garlic in a small frying pan. Put on a medium warmth, prepare dinner till the perimeters of the garlic start to sizzle and switch gentle golden, then take the pan off the warmth.

Drop the pasta into the boiling water and prepare dinner for a minute lower than the packet directions.

While the pasta is cooking, put the fried garlic in a meals processor with the remaining unseasoned kale, 60ml extra-virgin olive oil, pinch every of salt and pepper, and a bit splash of the pasta cooking water, then blitz to a clean, bright-green paste.

Put the frying pan again on the warmth and add a glug of oil. Once it’s actually scorching, add the scrunched kale and fry, stirring, till it’s crisp and a bit crunchy.

When the pasta is prepared, drain it, reserving a mugful of the cooking water, then return the pasta to the pot and stir within the kale sauce and parmesan. Add the reserved pasta water little by little and toss till you may have a clean, silky sauce coating all of the pasta.

Serve with the crisp kale scattered on prime and many grated parmesan.

Photography: Emma Lee for the Guardian. Food and prop styling: Anna Jones. Food assistant:: Anna Shepherd.

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