Rigatoni with Crumbled Sausage and Shaved Cabbage

Cabbage is one of those vegetables that no one ever knows what to do with. Besides a St. Patty’s day dinner, Corned Beef and Cabbage, or Cole Slaw, how many times do you see cabbage on the menu? Never ever, ladies and gentleman.

I’m about to add cabbage to your shopping list with one of my all time favorite pasta dishes. When you sauté cabbage with some garlic and shallots, it becomes sweet and crunchy-soft (new phrase LOL). Then add in some sausage crumbled out of the casings, and your kitchen will smell like heaven. Toss in some al dente pasta and salty, nutty grated cheese, and I’m telling you: we’re about to make cabbage “great again!”

I’m headed to a local farm stand now to pick up some fresh cabbage, and then after that, this little Italian market that sells their own sweet and spicy sausage.

My stomach is already rumbling.

 

 

 

Makes: for 4 people

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

The Ingredients

1 pound good-quality rigatoni

2 sweet Italian sausages

2 spicy Italian sausages

1 head savoy cabbage (a “wrinkly” looking cabbage; or get regular cabbage if you can’t find savoy!)

3 large shallots, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper

Parmigiano-Reggiano (or substitute grana Padano, or parmesan)

Optional: add a few fresh sage leaves to add a more wintery flair to the dish

 

 

 

The Steps

For cabbage: Shred cabbage by slicing head in quarters and cutting into ¼ inch thin pieces. In a large pot, add a few tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, and shallots. Sauté for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the cabbage. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until just wilted (not brown). Use a slotted spoon to remove cabbage from pot and set cabbage aside in a separate bowl.

For sausage: Run a knife down the length of the sausages to take the sausage meat out of the casings. Cook sausage meat in pot (no need for more olive oil) for 7-10 minutes over medium heat until all pink is gone. Make sure to use a slotted spoon to break up the sausage into small crumbles! Remove sausage from pot with slotted spoon.

For assembly: Boil pasta until al dente according to packaging instructions, reserving ¼ cup pasta water. Drain. Add sausage, cabbage, pasta water, and a generous drizzle of olive oil (2-3 tablespoons), freshly cracked black pepper, and a few handfuls of cheese. Add sage (optional). Stir until combined, adjusting amounts of olive oil and black pepper to taste.

Plate immediately, serving with more Parmigiano to garnish.

The perfect homey meal for the fam, or a romantic dinner for two.

 

 

 

The Steps with Pictures

For cabbage: Shred cabbage by slicing head in quarters and cutting into ¼ inch thin pieces. In a large pot, add a few tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, and shallots. Sauté for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the cabbage. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until just wilted (not brown). Use a slotted spoon to remove cabbage from pot and set cabbage aside in a separate bowl.

For sausage: Run a knife down the length of the sausages to take the sausage meat out of the casings. Cook sausage meat in pot (no need for more olive oil) for 7-10 minutes over medium heat until all pink is gone. Make sure to use a slotted spoon to break up the sausage into small crumbles! Remove sausage from pot with slotted spoon.

For assembly: Boil pasta until al dente according to packaging instructions, reserving ¼ cup pasta water. Drain. Add sausage, cabbage, pasta water, and a generous drizzle of olive oil (2-3 tablespoons), freshly cracked black pepper, and a few handfuls of cheese. Stir until combined, adjusting amounts of olive oil and black pepper to taste.

Plate immediately, serving with more Parmigiano to garnish.

The perfect homey meal for the fam, or a romantic dinner for two.

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