Currabinny Penne pasta with ham and cabbage, kale, cashew and wakame pesto and pickled walnut

Sat, Oct 6, 2018, 04:23

  • Serves: 2
  • Cooking Time: 30 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Irish


  • 200g penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 100g cooked ham, or speck, prosciutto or pancetta
  • 1 pickled walnut, sliced
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
  • For the pesto, makes about 250g
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 60g curly kale, stalks removed
  • 30g dried wakame, soaked in water and drained
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 60g cashew nuts
  • 80ml rapeseed oil
  • 60g hard cheese such as Gruyère or Parmesan, or a hard mature sheep’s cheese such as Cáis na Tíre or Cratloe Hills, grated


1. Put the ingredients for the pesto into a food processor and blitz well combined but still textured and chunky. Add more oil to loosen up the mixture if needed. Decant into a sterilized jar and pour a little rapeseed oil over the top to seal. Refrigerate until needed (it will keep this way for 2 weeks).

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the penne and cook according to the packet instructions.

3. Meanwhile, put the butter and a drop of olive oil into a large, heavy-based frying pan on a medium heat and add the shredded cabbage. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook the cabbage for 3 to 4 minutes until wilted, then tear in the ham and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add a little of the pasta water if it looks dry.

4. Add 2 tablespoons of the pesto and stir to combine, then cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes.

5. When the pasta is cooked, drain in a colander and add to the pan, stirring the sauce into the pasta until it is all well coated. Serve with a few slices of pickled walnut on top, and offer some extra grated Parmesan.

(In the book, this dish is made with wild garlic pesto; the seasonal substitution is at the authors’ suggestion)