occhi di lupo with tuscan kale and roasted parsnips

February 10, 2013


Don’t get bent out of shape if you don’t have occhi di lupo – literally wolf’s eyes – it’s just what I had in store in the pasta drawer. You could use orrechiette (little ears), capelli di pagliaccio (clown’s hats), or anything else that suits your fancy. Just choose a shape that helps hold the veggies and kale. Ribbons or rods don’t work as well for this recipe but, in my mind, it’s all good. This is a great winter recipe. It’s hearty and nutritious and relies heavily on all those good winter veggies like the robust greens, root vegetables, and onions. Of course you can top it off with parmigiano but for those not big on the dairy, picada is the best substitute I know.



3 tbsps olive oil

2 onions, chopped in thin wedges

6 – 8 parsnips, cut thinly on the diagonal

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sprigs thyme

1 lb tuscan kale, stems trimmed and chopped

1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes, crushed

1 lb of occhi di lupo or other pasta shape

sea salt and pepper


1/2 cup almonds, toasted

2 slices white country-style bread

4 cloves garlic

sea salt and pepper

Toss chopped parsnips and onion with 2 tbsps of the olive oil, minced garlic, thyme sprigs and some sea salt. Roast in a oven pre-heated to 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until parsnips are golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Add kale and toss until just wilted. Sprinkle with crushed chili flakes. Set aside.

In the meantime, add your pasta to boiling salted water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

For the picada, toast the almonds in an oven at 350F until they’re pale gold, 8 – 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Meanwhile, slowly fry slices of white country-style bread in 2 tbsps olive oil until golden on both sides, or toast well in a toaster. Place the grilled bread or toast, almonds, 4 large garlic cloves and pinch of salt in a food processor to make a crumbly paste. Set aside.

Add pasta and 1/4 cup pasta water to kale and roasted parsnips and onion in a large bowl. Add more pasta water if needed. Divide pasta into bowls, drizzle with oil, and top generously with the picada.

2 Responses to “occhi di lupo with tuscan kale and roasted parsnips”

  1. Laura Says:

    I have just made this and it is absolutely amazing! I was quite skeptical at first at the different flavours and having no sauce.. we Brits like to drench our meals in lashings of sauce/dressing/gravy but this was so wonderful and with many flavours.

    Very very nice!! The Picada mix we have also used the leftovers to use as a crumb topping on a lentil and bean cottage pie (if you know what one of those is! :P)

    • Laura,
      Thanks for this … so pleased that you enjoyed it. It is so simple and yet so tasty. A great weekday meal when you’re rushed and don’t have tonnes of time. In fact I might make this tonight as I have kale and parsnips at the ready in the fridge. And I agree about the picada – love it for a whole host of applications! Thanks again for taking the time to write.
      Happy Monday,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: