Thursday, January 5, 2012

Absolutely amazing Spaghetti
with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs

After an extremely busy time at my day job last week, I have this week off.
   My mom wanted to know what I had planned.
   Housework, cooking, baking, I said.
   "And blogging," my husband said, subtly reminding me that I've been slightly neglecting Recipes That Worked (purely out of necessity, not purposely).
   To make up for it, I've got a killer recipe today -- Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs (click for the recipe).
   It comes from Martha Stewart Living, and was in the "From My Home to Yours" section of the magazine. Stewart wrote this is a dish she makes often for guests, so I knew we had to try it.
   It was amazing.
   Anyone who claims they hate cabbage will be converted by this dish. The cabbage is thin and slightly crisp, a perfect companion to the spaghetti. The recipe calls for Savoy cabbage, but any type of green cabbage will work well.
   There are two stars of the dish: The cabbage and the breadcrumb topping.
   Freshly-made breadcrumbs are cooked until golden brown in a combination of melted butter and garlic. It's a masterful tactic, producing crisp breadcrumbs that are a heavenly topping to an already delicious dish.
   And to make a great dish even better, it's easy to make.
   Spaghetti is cooked in boiling water (I cooked the spaghetti until it was tender, rather than al dente as the recipe says). Some of the cooking water is reserved before the pasta is drained. I highly recommend using white pasta for this recipe, not whole wheat if you are inclined to such substitutions. We used Catelli Smart.
   My husband made fresh breadcrumbs from a multigrain bun. He put chunks of it in a mini chopper to produce the crumbs.
   Butter is melted in a skillet, then very thinly sliced or minced garlic is cooked in it until fragrant. The breadcrumbs are added and cooked until golden brown. The recipe said this will take about four to five minutes, but it only took us about 2.5 minutes.
   More butter is melted in a large high-sided skillet. Thinly-sliced cabbage (don't use the hard core), salt, pepper and cabbage are added, and the cabbage is cooked until its slightly wilted. Water is added, and the cabbage cooked some more, covered, until tender.
   Heavy cream (I used whipping cream) is added to the cabbage, and the mixture cooked briefly until the sauce is reduced slightly.
   The pasta, reserved cooking water, and finely-grated Parmesan cheese are added.

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