I’ve become kinda/sorta obsessed with a new dish that I found in a favorite cookbook, Jewish Cooking in America, by Joan Nathan. I was actually looking for a recipe for a classic cabbage soup. Now, before the gas jokes begin (can we ever have enough gaseous vegetable jokes?), I really need to say that I’m not obsessed with cabbage. It’s just that I often have leftovers. One of my personal chef entrees is stuffed cabbage. But you can’t use the whole thing when you’re stuffing it. With burger, that is. So, what do you do with the leftovers? Other than compost, there has to be SOMETHING edible to do with it. Thus, my idea for a classic sweet and sour, tomato-based soup. I found a zillion recipes online. Then I went to Joan Nathan’s book, and didn’t find any cabbage soup. But I found one for cabbage and bow tie pasta. Apparently, this is a biggie in Jewish homes. Really? Why am I just hearing about it now? A random sampling of Jewish homes (and their occupants) found that no one under the age of 97 has heard of it. But it’s still a great find. And like all of the bad ‘60’s white and rosé wines (including, ironically, Blue Nun), it’s correct with meat or fish. Really. The perfect side dish.
So what is it? It’s sautéed onions, cabbage, a hint of sugar, pasta, and poppy seeds. Truly, that’s it. In under half an hour, and with little effort, you’ll have a massive side dish that makes somewhere around a dozen servings. How great is that? It’s perfect with brisket (well, what isn’t? Okay. Maybe a glass of milk isn’t so perfect). Baked fish. Even a roast chicken. So dive in. It’s easy. And great.
Cabbage and Onions and Bow Tie Pasta
Very Slightly adapted from Joan Nathan’s “Jewish Cooking in America”
1 large onion
2# cabbage (a whole small one, or a half large one), shredded
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
12 oz bow tie (or other) pasta
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
salt and pepper
In a large skillet or small stockpot, sauté the onions for 5-10 mins, in 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sautee until they’re translucent and starting to get a bit golden. Add the cabbage and remaining olive oil. Sautee for 15+ minutes, or until the cabbage is cooked through.
Meanwhile, while the cabbage is cooking, boil the pasta until it’s cooked to your liking. Drain and put into a large bowl (or back into the pasta pot. One less dish to wash).
When the cabbage mixture is cooked through, add it to the pasta, and combine with the poppy seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Yield: Approximately eight-10 servings as a side dish
Note: If you use more than 2# of cabbage, add another onion, and use a pound of pasta. This will make a metric ton…