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Friday, July 20, 2012

Family Favorite - sausage and cabbage

Cabbage & Sausage Ragout with Farfalle

Photos and text by KARA DiCAMILLO/ News contributor

Through my CSA share this week I received a head of cabbage, garlic and spicy sausage, and this recipe was the first one that came to mind. I owe this one to my mom. She shared it with me several years ago when I told her I was getting tons of cabbage each week through my CSA. This recipe is a great way to use it. Since it was my mom’s birthday a few days ago, I thought I’d dedicate this one to her.

My mom has always been a good cook and an equally great baker. Each night, she cooked for our family — besides our Friday night “Pizza Nights” — and the four of us sat at our kitchen table and enjoyed dinner together.

We discussed our days, our friends, our plans, and looking back I truly cherish those dinner hours, even if I was forced to eat the ratatouille. It’s a routine that many families don’t have the opportunity to share these days because we all are so busy.

I truly believe that food connects people. Whether it’s through our heritage or our favorite flavors, food tells a story and so many memories are made over a delicious meal. If you don’t have the opportunity to eat with your family each night, try just one or two nights a week. Better yet, cook together.

Our family has grown over the years, and even though it’s definitely a bit hectic at times in my parent’s kitchen, we all still sit down at the table together. We chat over dinner — sometimes all at the same time — and enjoy each other’s company and a glass of wine. Those are the best conversations.

This recipe is an easy one and you can make it within a half-hour. It’s perfect for your next family night and the leftovers are even more flavorful.

Cabbage & Sausage Ragout with Farfalle
Makes 2-4
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Quarter pound of Italian sausage
Quarter cup of onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
Half head of cabbage, cut into strips
Freshly cracked pepper
1 16-ounce can of diced tomatoes, with liquid
Half-pound of farfalle (you could use penne, fusilli or ziti as well)
Parmesan cheese, grated

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the farfalle. Cook until the pasta is al dente and drain. Once you add the pasta to the pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. Break the sausage up with a spoon and cook until it’s browned. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Add the cabbage, salt, pepper and the additional olive oil, and sauté. Once the cabbage is tender, about 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about a minute to blend the flavors and then add the pasta to the skillet and mix together. Transfer to pasta bowls and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Enjoy.