Charlie Hibbert, Head Chef at Thyme, shares this delicious seasonal and comforting pasta dish.
“With their intensely seasonal, local focus, Thyme chef Charlie Hibbert and his colleagues regularly go down to the kitchen garden to see what they can use. With its striking, slender, dark green leaves now in full flourish, cavolo nero is an excellent match for a warming, comforting pasta dish.
“Graceburn is a British ‘feta-style’ cheese, kept in oil as opposed to brine, and spiked with peppercorns, bay, thyme and more,” says Charlie. “It’s a staple in my kitchen and I always take a jar off the shelves whenever I see it. You can substitute dried pasta for ease, and the pesto keeps well in the fridge with a splash of oil protecting it from the air. If you’re making fresh pasta, it’s best if you have a pasta-making machine.”
First published in The English Garden.
Described as a “village within a village”, Thyme includes a hotel, Ox Barn restaurant; spa, pool, cookery school; farm, kitchen gardens, orchards & water meadows. Charlie Hibbert oversees the Ox Barn, where you will also find bespoke John Julian tableware made especially for Thyme.
- 200g tagliatelle (at Thyme, they make their own, but they’d recommend De Cecco dried fettuccine or tagliatelline)
- 1 large bunch of cavolo nero, leaves stripped from the stems (keep the stems to use later for roasting or soup)
- 3 tbsp capers
- 250ml olive oil, plus a little extra for serving
- 100g Parmesan, freshly grated, plus a little extra for serving Sea salt flakes & freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 jar of Graceburn cheese 150g walnuts
- For the pesto, place a large pot of water on to boil. Blanch the cavolo nero leaves in the boiling water for three minutes, drain and rinse in cold water. Once chilled, squeeze as much excess liquid out of the leaves as possible and roughly chop. Place all the pesto ingredients, except the Parmesan, into a blender and blitz together. Decant the pesto into a bowl, stir through the Parmesan and season.
- Chop the walnuts and put them into a frying pan on a low heat, and toast for ten minutes, shaking them frequently so that they don’t burn. Place the walnuts to one side until you’re ready to serve.
- Place a pan of water over a high heat and bring to the boil, drop in the pasta and follow the instructions on the package for cooking times. Once cooked, drain off the pasta and stir through the pesto. Add in the Graceburn and the walnuts, dress with a little extra olive oil and Parmesan and serve.