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I’m not going to bore you with cabbage

Ciao amici,

Do you like eating with the season? It takes a bit more attention here in New York where you can get any produce or food item at any time of the year (delivered to you in 15 minutes). My years in Italy, along with frequent visits to the local farmer’s markets help me keep meals in tune with the time of year. So, this leads me to eating more cabbage these days. You can’t just buy a little bit of cabbage; it always comes in a huge bag or dense head. As someone who hates throwing food out (even measly cabbage), I’m always looking for new recipes so that each thick leaf is enjoyed to its fullest. I have a couple recipes below, but to keep my promise that I wasn’t going to bore you, first are some fun Italian expressions involving cabbage:

Che cavolo! “What the heck!”

Col cavolo! “Yeah right!”

Giornata del cavolo “a horrible day”

Una casa che sa di cavolo “A house that smells like cabbage” [Stay away from this person’s home]

Cavolo riscaldato “Old news”

Come cavolo a merenda “Like having cabbage for a snack” [Something that is out of place]

As you can tell, the Italian language doesn’t exactly praise cabbage, but I guess the staple of cucina povera (peasant food) doesn’t get put on a pedestal!

So here are a couple fun and easy ways to enjoy cabbage:

Conchiglie con cavolo nero e fagioli (Shell pasta with kale and white beans)

  • 300g shell pasta

  • 300g kale

  • 1 can white beans (cannellini)

  • 2 white onions

  • A bunch of chives

  • 2-3 bay leaves

  • 1 can diced tomatoes

  • Half cup white wine

  • Grated Parmigiano

  • Salt

  • Olive oil

  1. Clean and boil the kale in salted water for 10 mins.

  2. Drain, cool a bit and chop

  3. Sauté the onion in a skillet with olive oil

  4. Add chives, tomatoes, kale, beans

  5. Add white wine and simmer for 10 mins.

  6. Cook the pasta al dente.

  7. Add pasta to the sauce and cook another minute or to desired texture, while stirring.

  8. Serve: sprinkle on some Parm, salt, pepper, drizzle some finishing olive oil to taste!

If you don’t feel like turning on the stove, try this (not Italian): Addictive Cabbage

What winter foods do you enjoy and how do you “use it up”? Let me know!

Wishing everyone a wonderful fine di febbraio!

A presto, Lisa


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