This is total winter comfort food. I love to make slaws with fresh cabbage during the summer but am never quite sure what to do with it in the winter. With a little sausage and some pasta, the sautéed cabbage and shallots round out this perfect cold-weather meal.
Orecchiette with Sausage and Cabbage
3/4 pound orecchiette pasta, or other short cut pasta
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
2 shallots, thinly sliced, or 1/3 cup thinly sliced onion
1 1/2 pounds red, green or savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (from 1 small or 1/2 medium head), about 6 to 7 cups
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 handful microgreens
Heat a large pot of heavily salted water over high heat until boiling. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain pasta and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large 12-inch skillet. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 7 to 9 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer sausage to a plate.
Add enough olive oil to make 3 tablespoons of sausage fat and oil in pan. Heat pan over medium heat. Add shallots, cabbage, 2 large pinches of salt and some pepper to pan and cook until cabbage wilts and begins to turn golden, stirring occasionally, about 9 to 12 minutes.
Return cooked pasta to pot, off heat, and add the cabbage mixture and sausage. Pour in cheese and pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, adding more as needed, and stir vigorously to make a sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust as you see fit. Top with microgreens and serve.