Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fusilli with Cabbage and Tomato

Pasta Harvest
Janet Fletcher
Chronicle Books (1995)
ISBN 0811805670

After the encouraging results with the first recipe I made from this book, I decided the book would be good company for our little trip to Amsterdam. Good company, and I used more than one package of stickies marking promising recipes.

For my second outing with Pasta Harvest, I chose a recipe using cabbage, a really winter vegetable, and we were quite pleased with the results. This isn't a weeknight recipe since there's a lot of chopping, sautéing, and simmering time involved. But it's very tasty indeed, and I expect it would keep for a few days in the fridge, if you wanted to make it up on the weekend.

Like many Italian recipes, it starts with slowly sautéing minced onions, carrots, and celery until they are very soft, 15 minutes or more. Then lots of minced garlic is stirred in, followed by pepper flakes, strained tomatoes, chicken stock (which happened to be simmering away on the back burner prior to being strained and frozen), and oregano. (Fresh oregano? In February? You jest! It was dried Mexican oregano for me.) This mixture simmers for about 15 minutes. Then a big pile of finely shredded cabbage is stirred in and simmered again for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta and drain, saving some of the water in case the sauce needs thinning (it did). Toss the pasta with the sauce, some chopped parsley (I forgot), and some freshly grated Parmesan. Dish it up and serve with more Parmesan. Yum.

Aside: Pasta recipes frequently call for draining the pasta, then tossing it with the sauce in a large, warm bowl. Does anybody actually do this? The pot where the pasta cooked qualifies for large and warm, that's two out of three. The clean-up crew appreciates not having an extra dish to wash. I always serve pasta directly onto our plates (less messy at the table), so a serving bowl is superfluous.

This recipe calls for either fusilli or spaghetti as the pasta-of-choice. Spaghetti didn't seem right to me, and I didn't have enough fusilli (and didn't want to open another package). Having used gemelli/cascareccia a couple of times lately, I opted for my current second favorite pasta, one I haven't discovered a name for, a mini version of curly-edged lasagna noodles.

We've had two hits from this book now. Thinking that it will sit on the shelf with vegetable cookbooks, since this is one I'll want to pick up when I've found something good at the market.

This post is linked to this week's Cookbook Sundays.

1 comment:

  1. Kayte, that book is shaping up to be a real gem - I love the sound of this dish. I often make a Jamie Oliver dish that I love with farfalle, cabbage & pancetta.

    I must admit I don't usually use the warm bowl either unless I'm serving guests - it's usually back into the pot for me too :-)

    Thanks for sharing at Cookbook Sundays again.

    Sue xo