This dish has many names. From what I gather, depending on where you are from Kohlrabi has many names. Cavoli or cavolo, whatever, it’s good and really lends itself well to this preparation!
1 Whole Kohlrabi (leaves and root)
2 Bunching Onions
1-2 Whole Dried peppers (or 1-3 tbsp of red pepper flakes)
1 Garlic Scape
1/2 lbs Pasta (I liked the angel hair, but have seen it with rotini and fettuccine)
1/2 bunch parsley or herb mix
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock (Optional)
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Start a large covered pot of heavily salted water to boil. While this is going, separate the leaves from the root of the kohlrabi and set root aside. Tear the leaves from the stems in bite size pieces and place in a bowl of cold water. Given that most times you get kohlrabi, it’s fresh, this will help make sure all the dirt comes off the leaves.
With your water now boiling, place your sliced root and torn leaves in the water carefully. I layered mine in just to make sure it all stayed submerged. This is going to boil for about 35 minutes to start.
Now take your scape and onions, clean them off and slice them up. If you’re using dried peppers (I always buy more than I need at the farmers market and let them dry so I can use them throughout the year) remove the stem and chop them as well. If you don’t want as much heat, you can shake the seeds out before you chop them…but I may think less of you for doing so!
Set these aside and start a large sauce pan on medium high with your olive oil. Once shimmering, reduce to low and add you chopped bounty.
Take your tomatoes and dice them up into fairly small pieces. Also, run your knife through your herbs. Nothing fancy, just a rough chop. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to your sauce pan and cover for 7 minutes. After the wait, stir the mixture and, using a wooden spoon or some sort of smashing device, crush your tomatoes so they begin to make a sauce. Cover again for 5 minutes. At this point, you can decide how you want your sauce. If you want a thicker sauce that’s not…well saucy, smash again and let sit on low for about three more minutes. Turn off the heat and add your chopped herbs. If you want a wetter sauce, add half a cup of chicken stock to the mix and cover for 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat, give it one more smashing, add your herbs and let sit covered until needed.
35 minutes should have passed. Check on your kohlrabi mixture, you want a tender root that still holds its form and leaves that are tender, but not falling apart, Take your pasta and add it directly to your kohlrabi stew (why waste a good pot of salted tasty water!). Cook for the length of time needed to cook the pasta. Once done, strain the mixture in a colander.
Now, to complete, toss the pasta, leaves and kohlrabi back in the pot and then toss in the sauce. Mix well and serve! You can top with some Parmesan cheese if you like or just as is. The kohlrabi has a turnip/radish like flavor that works well with the spicy sauce. The veggies should all be ‘al dente’ so there’s some bite left, but tender enough to chew. Even though there are two tablespoons of olive oil, it still a pretty light pasta that works well as a summer meal. All together its a hearty pasta dish that will leave you wanting seconds…if you can find a place to put them!