Whole Wheat Pappardelle with Savoy Cabbage and Sausage

This a simple, satisfying pasta to make in fall or winter, when savoy cabbages are at their peak.  The cabbage gets sliced into ribbons, the sausage removed from its casing and sauteed, and some chopped tomato and broth pull all the flavors together.

Whole wheat pappardelle are ideal for this dish because of their sturdiness and earthiness, but if you can’t find whole wheat, white will do.   The ratio of pasta to cabbage is extremely flexible–you can make it more of a vegetable dish or more of a pasta dish.  Tonight, I used a whole head of cabbage with a pound of pasta–there was just as much cabbage as noodles, which was exactly what I wanted.

After our pasta, we had a wonderfully sweet/astringent salad of dandelion greens, apples and pomegranate seeds, in a red wine and agave vinaigrette.  This was the perfect palatte cleanser after the deep, rich flavors of the pasta.

Whole Wheat Pappardelle with Savoy Cabbage and Sausage

serves 4

1 small head savoy cabbage, quartered, cored and sliced into 1/2″ wide ribbons

1 lb whole wheat pappardelle

1 lb Italian sausage, removed from its casing

1/2 a medium onion, diced finely

1/4 c olive oil

1/2 cup tomato pulp, made from pureeing 2 ripe plum tomatoes in the blender.

1 c chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

grated pecorino romano for sprinking

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Drop in savoy cabbage and blanch for about 5 to 7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

On medium heat, in a broad skillet,  saute the sausage and onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, while constantly chopping the sausage with a spatula as it browns.

 Cook until sausage has lost all its pink color and onions have begun to caramelize–about 10  minutes.

Turn heat to high and add tomato pulp, broth and cabbage to skillet and saute together for about 10 minutes, while pasta cooks.

 Add pasta to skillet, along with the remainder of olive oil and a half-cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

Taste for salt and pepper, drizzle with remainder of olive oil, and serve, with grated pecorino romano.  Saute for a minute to combine, then serve.

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