Rigatoni with Cabbage, Creme Fraiche, & Pumpernickel Bread Crumbs

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My father-in-law has lost a considerable amount of weight by eating a raw cabbage salad prior to his meals. Thank goodness he has become quite a cabbage-fan because I couldn’t believe I served him a main dish that incorporated cabbage- an entire head of cabbage! 🙂

The cabbage in this sauce is shredded and becomes completely unrecognizable in the creamy sauce. The crème fraiche added a lovely tanginess and the pumpernickel bread crumbs added a fabulous contrasting texture. We ate it on Thanksgiving Eve with a green salad. It was a delicious dish!

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Mike Lata. I used black forest bacon, mezzi rigatoni, and green cabbage instead of Savoy. I also reduced the crushed red pepper and increased the garlic. We grated additional Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top of each serving at the table. Yum!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 8 ounces pumpernickel bread (with crusts), torn into pieces (3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice (I used black forest bacon)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 head of Savoy or green cabbage (1 1/2 pounds), shredded (I used a food processor)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pound rigatoni or mezzi rigatoni
  • 1/2 cup crème fraĂ®che
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  1. In a food processor, pulse the bread until coarse crumbs form. In a skillet, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. In a large straight-sided skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain.
  4. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until almost all of the stock has evaporated, 8 to 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  6. Toss the pasta with the cabbage.
  7. Stir in the crème fraîche, the 1/2 cup of cheese and, if necessary, the reserved pasta water; season with salt and black pepper.
  8. Transfer the pasta to bowls and garnish with the breadcrumbs, bacon and black pepper. Serve with additional cheese on the side.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Roasted Cabbage and Bacon Pasta

I love finding new uses for cabbage. I was so excited to read about roasting cabbage with bacon on Cottage Grove House. I had never roasted cabbage before. Genius!– and I had two types of CSA cabbage sitting in my refrigerator waiting for a plan! 🙂 The original recipe was for a side dish but I thought it would be fabulous over pasta as a main dish. This recipe was adapted from cottagegrovehouse.com. It was DELICIOUS!!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 1/2 head green and/or red cabbage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 head savoy or napa cabbage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 6 slices of thick cut bacon, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • drizzling of avocado or olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmesan, for serving
  • 3/4 to 1 pound fresh pasta noodles, such as Trofie or dry pasta noodles, such as Strozzapreti

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  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (convection).
  2. Place the cabbage, bacon, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss until well coated. Spread evenly onto two large, rimmed baking sheets. IMG_6657
  3. Roast, turning regularly with a spatula, about 30 minutes, or until well roasted and bacon is crispy, yet still meaty.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  5. Combine cooked pasta with cabbage mixture. Top with grated cheese and serve.

Napa Cabbage Curry

This is the best cabbage dish I have ever made or eaten. It was quick, flavorful, and delicious. Everyone loved it! We ate it over brown basmati rice. This recipe was adapted from the New York Times article “Slawless,” contributed by Mark Bittman. I am looking forward to my next CSA cabbage to try some of the other ideas in the article. (Although it will be difficult not to just repeat this one….)

  • 1 small head of green cabbage or Napa cabbage, sliced crosswise into 1 to 2-inch thick ribbons
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 T minced garlic (I used 5 cloves)
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 1 T minced (seeded) jalapeño
  • 1-2 T coconut oil
  • 1 T sweet curry powder
  • 15-oz can light coconut milk
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cilantro & lime, for garnish
  • brown basmati rice, for serving

  1. Saute the chicken thighs, onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño in the coconut oil until browned.
  2. Add the cabbage leaves, curry powder, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the cabbage wilts.
  3. After the cabbage has wilted, add the coconut milk. Simmer until the cabbage is tender and the sauce thickens.
  4. Adjust seasoning. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro and lime, if desired.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Browned Butter, Swiss Chard, Walnuts & Golden Raisins

This is one of my absolute FAVORITE dishes! I would eat it every day. 🙂 It is the perfect dish to make when I get smaller bunches of greens in my CSA box because it is wonderful with any combination of Swiss chard, spinach and kale (or any other greens). The nutty browned butter is the standout flavor, with the greens, toasted walnuts, plumped up golden raisins, and salty hard cheese only making the dish more fabulous. I serve it over whole wheat spaghetti- it would be GREAT with fresh pasta.

This dish was adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Field of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes from the Celebrated Greens Restaurant by Annie Somerville. I have used Swiss chard and spinach which have relatively equivalent cooking times, but if kale (or cabbage) is being used it needs to be sautĂ©ed 2-3 minutes with the onions before adding the other greens because it is more slow cooking. Mmmmm…..

Serves: 2 to 4

  • 1/3 cup brown butter
  • 3 T golden raisins
  • 1 bunch red or green Swiss chard (or mixed with spinach and kale or other greens), about 8 cups packed leaves
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced, about 1 cup
  • salt and pepper
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped or sliced
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti, or fresh fettuccine
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • grated Parmesan cheese, or other salty hard cheese
  1. Make the brown butter: Melt 5 T unsalted butter in a small saucepan over low heat. As the butter gently simmers, the butter and fat and milk solids will separate from each other. The solids will settle to the bottom of the pan, coloring the butter as it cooks. When it turns a rich amber color, in about 8 to 10 minutes, remove from heat. Line a fine-mesh strainer with a paper towel or cheese-cloth and pour the butter through it, straining out the solids. Keep it warm over low heat.
  2. Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Plump the currants and golden raisins in a small bowl covered with 1/4 cup hot water. Trim the stems from the chard and slice across the leaves to make 2-inch-wide ribbons.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan; add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens and begins to release its juices. (If using kale, add to the onions after 2 minutes.) Add the garlic, chard, and 1/4 tsp salt. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the chard is just barely tender, then reduce the heat to low.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a 400 degree oven for approximately 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside.
  5. When the water boils, add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the pasta to the pot, timing it to finish cooking with the chard. (The chard should be very tender but not overcooked when the pasta is done.)
  6. When the pasta is just tender, drain it immediately in a colander, shake off excess water, and add it to the onions and chard, along with the plumped fruit, walnuts, and brown butter. Toss together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

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