Pasta with Cabbage, Sage and Breadcrumbs

16 Jul

Well, anchovy and garlic too, plus a little parmesan at the end but it’s not such a snappy title that way. Big Man came home from one of his little excursions with a beautiful cabbage. I think in England they are called Spring cabbages, the lighter green ones with very tight leaves.

Pasta With Cabbage & Breadcrumbs (1)

We enjoy it simply shredded and cooked for a few moments until wilted and then served cold with vinaigrette. But this was a whole lot of cabbage and I needed to find other ways to use it. I remembered a lovely Italian pasta dish made with Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale) and decided to make something similar.

If you prepare everything before you start cooking it’s quick to pull together, you just need to work methodically and in the time it takes for your pasta to cook (well, dried pasta at least) you’ll have a beautiful meal ready to take to the table.

Ingredients (per person, just multiply per number of diners but don’t worry about being too exact)

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • About 100g finely shredded cabbage
  • About 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2-4 tinned anchovies (omit for a vegetarian version)
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Your choice of pasta

Start by putting the water for the pasta on to boil and then blanching the shredded cabbage until it wilts. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and drain, add your pasta to the water and, as long as you have your other ingredients prepared, you can get on with pulling the rest of the dish together.

Heat two thirds of the oil and when it is very hot drop the sage leaves in and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Pasta With Cabbage & Breadcrumbs (4)

Now add your fresh breadcrumbs and with the oil still on high, move them around in the pan (it helps to use a deep frying pan or wok for this dish) until they start to turn golden. Remove from the pan and put them onto a flat dish to cool slightly and crisp up.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and turn the heat down slightly before adding the garlic and anchovies. When the anchovies have “melted” (this won’t take long at all, a minute or so) add the cabbage and turn the heat back up to high. Stir fry for a couple of minutes (you can allow the edges to brown a little if you like) then add most of the breadcrumbs, reserving some to sprinkle over the top of the dish.

Drain the pasta and mix it in with the cabbage. It helps to add a tablespoon or two of the cooking liquid, but don’t overdo it.

Sprinkle over the remaining breadcrumbs and crispy sage leaves and serve with plenty of parmesan. Buon appetito!

Big Man and I are heading west on Saturday with the pups for a week in Portugal, the Eastern Algarve to be precise. I’ll try to post once more before we head off but it’s turning into one of those weeks. I know we won’t have internet coverage where we’re staying, but fingers crossed that I’ll be able to get online at some point. So…if I go quiet for a while it’s because I’m eating seafood or bacalao and sipping Portuguese wines whilst watching the sea. I’m sure you’ll understand!


49 Responses to “Pasta with Cabbage, Sage and Breadcrumbs”

  1. Mad Dog July 16, 2013 at 00:58 #

    Everything tastes good with anchovy, garlic and parmesan 😉
    Have a wonderful holiday – i hope we get to see some of the food!

    • Chica Andaluza July 16, 2013 at 09:08 #

      Thanks MD! We’re really looking forward to it. Am currently turning the house upside down looking for the charger for my little camera so that I can take bar and restaurant snaps!

      • PendleStitches July 20, 2013 at 00:06 #

        I love that your priority is bar and restaurant snaps. Brilliant. Have a splendid holiday.

      • Chica Andaluza July 20, 2013 at 13:51 #

        Of course 🙂

  2. Michelle July 16, 2013 at 01:19 #

    What a wonderful idea! The small cabbages here have been so very good this year.

    • Chica Andaluza July 16, 2013 at 09:07 #

      I love cabbage but I know some people find it a little dull – this really gives it plenty of flavour!

  3. Eha July 16, 2013 at 05:36 #

    Have a wonderful holiday first and foremost!! And lift a glass of vino for me also – am not very knowledgeable about Portuguese wines! Love your pasta dish: beautiful, tasty and filling for a meatless meal! Am laughing: I belong to a number of invitational panels here – one of them happens to be Nestle’s ! Well, we have just been quite seriously asked our opinion as to whether pasta with sauce was originally Italian or Australian? [I kid you not!!!] And I kid you not that, very tongue in cheek, I ‘innocently’ asked ‘what about all the Chinese and Japanses noodle dishes’!!! [Actually someone before me had thought of that also, darn it 😀 !

    • Chica Andaluza July 16, 2013 at 09:04 #

      Thank you for your good wishes Eha! When I was little, my dad always said that he was convinced that pasta came originally from China … who knows! And they also have lots of rice there…where did it start…chickens and eggs methinks! The idea of pasta with sauce….mmm, well I’ll have to go for Italy (or China, or Japan) over Oz on that one!

  4. TBM July 16, 2013 at 09:15 #

    Is it too early for me to grab a bottle of wine and we can share this? It’s never too early for me for good food. have fun in Portugal. I haven’t been there yet so I want a full report 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 16, 2013 at 10:22 #

      Never too early for a glass of wine (and here in Spain the old boys and Big Man start the day with a carajillo of coffee which is coffee with a “nip” of something in it and a little glass of anis or a liqueur to set them up for the day!). We love Portugal, luckily the south coast is only 4 hour drive away (well, the bit nearest the border to Spain is from us) and Lisbon is about 6 hours away by car.

      • TBM July 17, 2013 at 12:16 #

        Ooo. I could go for a special cup of Jo. Sign me up! enjoy your trip.

  5. Tandy July 16, 2013 at 11:57 #

    I will try sage with my next cook of cabbage! Have a super holiday 🙂

  6. mrszeg July 16, 2013 at 13:20 #

    My hubby loves anchovies, we will definitely be trying this.

    • Chica Andaluza July 16, 2013 at 16:17 #

      There’s just enough of the anchovy flavour coming through – but you could always chuck a few extra in!

      • mrszeg July 17, 2013 at 01:18 #

        I will chuck a few more in, he loves them!

  7. Ria July 16, 2013 at 15:34 #

    Love the look of this! I’m going to try it with one of the sweetheart or ‘pointy’ cabbages we have over here xx

    • Chica Andaluza July 26, 2013 at 17:01 #

      Love those cabbages – we don’t have them in Spain 😦

  8. narf77 July 16, 2013 at 21:03 #

    Cabbages don’t last long around here :). I make spring rolls with them. Half a HUGE cabbage shredded with about 400g grated carrot, anything else you want to add (bean sprouts etc.) and lots of Asian sauces (preferably thick ones like oyster sauce and Thai chilli sauce) all mixed together with an egg or two to bind the filling and rolled up in spring roll wrapper sleeping bags. We bake them in the oven after brushing them with olive oil. Delish! I also love cabbage raw and even eat the stalk. No waste here. Your recipe looks scrumptious and Steve will eat cabbage so I am going to try it on him 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 17, 2013 at 10:50 #

      Those sound so good. I make stuffed cabbage leaves too but a wintery version. Do you eat eggs? Love the idea of the thai chili sauce, I make a batch most weeks as I dollop it over most things!

  9. 76sanfermo July 16, 2013 at 23:10 #

    Thisa recipe fascinates me: as soon as cavolo nero appears , I want to try it.
    Happy holidays to you and hubby!

    • Chica Andaluza July 17, 2013 at 10:50 #

      And you’re in the right place for delicious cavolo nero!

  10. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 17, 2013 at 01:32 #

    Looks delicious!

  11. ChgoJohn July 17, 2013 at 01:35 #

    This sounds like a great dish, Tanya. I only know of one other pasta & cabbage dish, pizzoccheri, and I liked the combo.This one has the added benefit of anchovies, which, like bacon, are a big plus in any dish. Glad to hear you and Big Man are getting away for a holiday. Enjoy yourselves. Buon viaggio!

    • Chica Andaluza July 17, 2013 at 10:52 #

      Aha, that’s the one I was thinking of! Bacon and anchovies are such good extras for dishes like this, they really life the flavour. And now I need to start thinking about packing as the night before we leave we have a local fiesta to go to, so we’ll come home ofr a few hours sleep then hit the road…so I need to get organised!

  12. thecompletecookbook July 17, 2013 at 17:06 #

    Fantabulous meal! Yes, I have decided fantabulous is a word. 😀
    I am not at all jealous about your holiday, okay I am totally jealous! Have a wonderful time!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  13. Karen July 18, 2013 at 12:27 #

    I love adding crispy bread crumbs to pasta…your dish sounds delicious. Have a terrific time on your holiday!

  14. Rachel July 18, 2013 at 15:28 #

    Hope you have/had a great vacation! “eating seafood or bacalao and sipping Portuguese wines whilst watching the sea” sounds as delicious as this recipe… mmmmm! to both!

  15. Charles July 19, 2013 at 12:37 #

    Enjoy your trip Chica – a place with no internet… sounds like a great opportunity to “unplug” :).

    Tasty looking dish – I saw fresh sage on sale here the other day for the first time in… ever I think. Couldn’t believe it! 😀

    • Chica Andaluza July 19, 2013 at 19:55 #

      It would also grow well in one of your pots and usually survives even the cold of winter!

      • Charles July 20, 2013 at 01:39 #

        You’d think, but two tries of growing it, resulting in dead plants within mere weeks has put me off herb gardening from a balcony from a while 😀

      • Chica Andaluza July 20, 2013 at 13:50 #

        😦 Best stick to buying it!

  16. Promenade Claire July 20, 2013 at 10:42 #

    Ha of course we understand………. 🙂
    I love Big Man’s mini excursions – you never know what he’ll come back with
    And I’m loving this recipe, I’ve only recently discovered pasta+breadcrumbs… yes I’m slow on the uptake !

    • Chica Andaluza July 20, 2013 at 16:35 #

      The first “gift” I ever had from Big Man (even before our first “date”) was a great big cauliflower…gotta love that man!

      • Promenade Claire July 20, 2013 at 18:01 #

        What’s not to love! I trust you have an appropriate recipe to go with the lurve cauli 🙂

      • Chica Andaluza July 20, 2013 at 19:24 #

        Ooh – now you’ve got me thinking about creating a recipe for the lurve cauli!

  17. dedy oktavianus pardede July 23, 2013 at 11:49 #

    such a heavently pasta to start up a day,
    i can imagine the anchovies and sage combo….
    well done!

  18. waterfallsandcaribous July 24, 2013 at 11:07 #

    That sounds simple and gorgeous! The perfect end of a long work day meal 🙂

  19. I love figuring out new dishes based on one lingering ingredient 🙂 This looks to have come out beautifully. Not at all surprising!

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2013 at 21:16 #

      Yes, the poor old cabbage, it often lingers in the fridge waiitng to be turned into something beautiful 🙂

  20. sandalboneka2015 April 23, 2015 at 04:48 #

    wow so good,

  21. Wisata Lombok September 19, 2015 at 04:38 #

    Looks like fried rice. Does Mrs. Chica never make Fried Rice ?
    If you make Fried Rice with Shrimp can be added or Sossis.

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