A Quiet Life #5: the joy of simple cooking

Today’s lunch! This version made with spring greens and without pine nuts.

In this post I’d just like to share a recipe. One of those simple dishes with just a few ingredients which seems to bring out the best in all of them, it’s an easy pasta dish using leafy kale greens with anchovy and garlic. It works well with leafy greens in general, the best I’ve found being cavalo nero, curly kale or spring greens. It’s got a southern Italian edge to it, and eating it in the sunshine today definitely fed the soul a little too!

Spaghetti with kale, anchovy and chilli

Ingredients per serving (all very approximate, I tend to throw in whatever looks about right):

  • 100g spaghetti
  • Handful of kale leaves, thinly sliced (remove stalks from curly kale and cavalo nero, include from spring greens)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • Sprinkle of dried oregano
  • 1 large anchovy
  • 2 or 3 slices of good salami, chopped into small pieces
  • Chilli flakes
  • Olive oil
  • Toasted pine nuts (or toasted chopped almonds for a different flavour)


  • Cook spaghetti as per instructions until al dente.
  • When pasta has about 4–5 mins left, heat oil in frying pan and cook with garlic, oregano and anchovy until the latter melts into the oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • If you’re using spring greens boil in water for about 3 minutes, then drain and add to pan with garlic etc
  • If using kale/cavalo nero rinse under water water, shake off excess and add to the pan. Cover for a few minutes until tender.
  • Just before the end, add salami and pine nuts to warm through.
  • Add drain spaghetti and mixed well.
  • Sprinkle to taste with chilli flakes and serve.

It’s also great to just have a big pile of the kale/garlic/anchovy part of the recipe alongside, well, pretty much anything!

My cavalo nero and spinach in their raised beds


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