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Spaghetti o Maccheroni con Verza
(Spaghetti or Macaroni with Cabbage)

From Arthur Schwartz adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 5 or 6 Servings

This is such a simple and useful dish, with meat and vegetable in one bowl. Itís perfect for cold weather family meals. Itís amazing what a small amount of sausage will do to add flavor and substance. And, like almost nothing other than tomato sauce, it works well with almost any dried pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from its casing
  • 1/2 medium head green or Savoy cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound spaghetti or macaroni
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino or a combination

    Method:
    1. In a 2- to 3-quart saucepan or casserole, over medium-low heat, combine the oil and the garlic. Cook the garlic, pressing it into the oil a couple of times to release its flavor, until it barely begins to color on both sides. Remove the garlic.

    2. Add the sausage, raise the heat slightly, and, with the edge of a wooden spoon, break up the meat into small pieces. This gets easier as the meat cooks. Continue to cook and break up the meat until it begins to brown, in 3 or 4 minutes.

    3. Add the cabbage and mix well. Cook, uncovered, about 3 minutes, mixing occasionally. The cabbage should be wilted. (It will probably not be necessary to add salt or pepper because the sausage is well seasoned.)

    4. Dissolve the tomato paste in the water and add it to the cabbage. Mix well, cover, and cook gently for 15 minutes, until the cabbage is tender.

    5. Cook the spaghetti until al dente in plenty of boiling, salted water.

    6. Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve immediately. Pass the grated cheese.

 

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