20 February 2009

Mark Bittman saved my cabbage

I made this dish a while ago, but it was so tasty and easy, I must tell you about it. At the time, I had half a head of both red and green cabbage leftover from making cole slaw. I don't like to waste food and try my best not to let things rot in the back of the refrigerator. Usually I can think of a dish or find a recipe suited to the leftovers I have on hand. But these cabbages were tormenting me. No creative ideas sprang to mind, and all the recipes I found involved buying even more ingredients, which I did not want to do. Just as I was about to throw in the towel and make another batch of cole slaw, Mark Bittman spoke to me. Yup, Mr. Knows-How-to-Cook-Everything-Simply-Bittman saved the day. There he was, on PBS "taking on" an American chef, making spaghetti with cabbage. Brilliant! This was all I needed to use up my own cabbage.

I sauteed some chopped onions and garlic, then added the shredded cabbage, both red and green (I think Bittman added anchovies and used only one kind of cabbage in his version, I don't exactly remember). I cooked the cabbage down, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a pinch of hot pepper flakes. Meanwhile, I cooked up some spaghetti, very al dente. I added the cooked pasta to the cabbage and threw in some starchy pasta water to coat the spaghetti, then cooked until the pasta was ready. I served it with some freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesan cheese.

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