Another delicious and quick veggie weekday supper based on a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe from his “River Cottage Veg” cookbook.

I based it on his Pasta and Greens, Garlic and Chilli recipe; selected Savoy cabbage as my greens of choice and added some sautéed mushrooms that I had in the fridge. As I also slightly amended the quantities of some of the ingredients (and misread the recipe and had to improvise on the cooking method; see below), I will give you below my version of the recipe.


  • 300g / 11oz savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onion, finely sliced
  • ½ fresh red chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 250g / 8oz chestnut mushroom, sliced
  • 300g / 11oz fusilli pasta
  • sea salt and finely ground black pepper
  • serve with extra virgin olive oil and grated parmesan cheese
  1. Remove the core and thick stems from the savoy cabbage and shred the leaves finely.
  2. Start boiling ample water in a big pot to cook the fusilli
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan over low heat, add the onion and cook gently until soft (about 10 minutes)
  4. At the same time heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan on medium-high, add the chestnut mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized and then add to the pan with the onions
  5. After 5 minutes of so, add a couple of teaspoons of salt to the boiling water and cook the fusilli al dente (which usually should take about 10-12 minutes)
  6. Add the chili, garlic and some salt and pepper to the onions and continue to cook for another 3 minutes
  7. Add the shredded savoy cabbage and about half a ladle of the pasta’s cooking liquid and braise for about 5 minutes with a lid on, stirring occasionally (this should be done in the 5 minutes before the fusilli is cooked)
  8. Drain the pasta and add to the sauté pan and mix thoroughly
  9. Season and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and lots of grated parmesan

What worked and what didn’t:
Having misread the original recipe, I accidentally added the savoy cabbage to the pan with the onions instead of cooking it together with the fusilli in its last 3 minutes. However, braising the savoy cabbage as described above worked very well and it also kept a nice bite on the greens, so I was quietly pleased with my mistake.

For a “no sauce” pasta, it was not dry at all (also due to my addition of some liquid to braise the savoy cabbage), and only a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil already brought it together. The garlic, onion and chili pepper give it a bit of a punch while the parmesan and the caramelized mushrooms I added gave the dish a hit of umami. I didn’t go overboard with the chili pepper, so also the kids liked it a lot.

Recipe accuracy:
This recipe serves 4 and is on the table within 30 minutes

Suggested tweaks:
None we could think of, but I am sure that Hugh’s suggested use of kale or broccoli florets as the greens of choice, will work brilliantly too.

Verdict: 8/10; so it will be made again.

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