I must confess that the first time I ate cabbage was about two years ago. You know my love story with veggies is a recent subject. It was at a friend’s house. She had just braised some of it and added tomato sauce and spices. Well, when you say tomate sauce you’re speaking my language. Easy pease to please me.
After this happy experience, I got brave and bought a nice specimen to make some attempts at home. Let me be honest with you: I don’t find cabbage to be a very appealing vegetable. Think about it. You have all those colorful bell peppers standing close to shiny green zucchinis, carrots wearing their sun tanned orange look and lettuces with curly leaves. Then, next to them, we see those green pale almost white (or purple) round dull things filling the winter shelves of the supermarket. I don’t think it should come as a surprise that I never fancied giving it a try.
But let me say, have you ever bought an entire piece of cabbage? It’s a dream! It lasts forever. Well, it’s a double-edged sword. It’s great because you cook, cook, cook and you still have some cabbage on the fridge. But, on the other hand, one must be quite creative not to get bored by eating the same kind of food for a whole week. Well, last week cabbages were on sale and I decided that it was the perfect timing for me to share a few of my favourite recipes for you to make the most out of your cabbage stravaganza.
Cabbage is good for the skin, stomach, for the imune system, bones, heart… besides being packed with fibre and very low calories. I don’t see much of a difference in taste between the white and the purple one so I end up getting whichever looks best (or cheeper) – never forgetting that I ADORO purple food. Since both of them were the same price, I got one of each for the sake of the pictures and this post.
Enough gibberish. My “cabbage noodles” version is like a caboodles, ou cabaggeoodles (in honor of the zoodles that took over the low carb plates not long ago). It’s a poetic licence I’m giving myself because when I saw the dish all ready I thought it looked a lot like tagliatelle noodles (and I was quite reassured when I showed the picture to my Italian friend at work and she agreed with me). Of course that the cabbage doesn’t replace real pasta. Pasta is pasta and cabbage is cabbage. But here is quite a tasty way to enjoy your cabbage. and it’s almost as easy to make as a tagliatelle with tomato sauce.
Well, now it’s time to get cooking.
Cabbage “noodles” in (almost homemade) tomate sauce
1/2 of a cabbage
1 can of peeled tomatoes (400g or 15oz)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Basil (or oregano)
*extra: parmesan for a special twist with leftovers
We’re doing 1/2 a cabbage. Yes, indeed! It’s a load of cabbage, but let’s take this time to make some extra food. You can use it for the lunch pack over the week, or just keep cool and wait for it that we’ll have a gourmet twist at the end of the post with the leftovers.
You have the knife and the chopping board in hand so, just slice the onion and the cabbage all at once. I like my onions in half moon shape, but you can dice it or just do as you please. It’s for a simple braise. As for the cabbage, I just cut it in half and then in strips as think as a finger.
Put the onions on a large pan with a pinch of salt and a splash of water. YES! We cook in water around here, but you’re welcome to use olive oil (just don’t overdo it, ok?). You don’t need to cook the onions, just let it loose some water (the salt will help). About three minutes. I didn’t have garlic in the house, but if you do and like it, you can add one chopped of crushed garlic clove here.
Cabbage hits the pan, mix it well and add 1/4 cup of water. Place the lid and let it cook in medium (to high) for about 10 to 15 minutes (you can stir it every once in a while). Time will vary because it’s a matter of taste. I prefere mine quite soft and tender, so, I let it cook well. But if you enjoy yours more ‘al dente’, just let it cook less. Keep trying till you find the sweet cabbage spot.
Now let’s get to the almost homemade tomato sauce. If you have some real deal homemade sauce on the fridge (or freezer), go for it. Nevertheless, if you have no time, no patience, or if you’re out of homemade sauce don’t be discouraged. And, please, do not run to the sauce shack of the supermarket. They are filled with chemicals and artificial flavours. Here’s where it’ll always came in had to have a can of peeled tomatoes in the pantry. Just be attentive to the label. The ingredients must be tomato and tomato juice. Sometimes salt. But nothing more than this.
Remember that we are cooking for a battalion, so, you can just throw the entire can (mine had about 15oz). Tomatoes and their juice into the pan, stir it well and it’s time to season. I had a can of whole tomatoes so, I like to smash and cut them a bit, but I do that with the wooden spoon, inside the pan. Adjust the salt, add some black or chilly pepper, basil (or oregano) and that’s it. Oh! I have a small tip, but it’s entirely optional. Whenever I do this fast sauces I like to add one pinch of cinnamon. Yes, cinnamon. If you’re team cinnamon, just trust me. Now just let it cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, just for the sauce to get all the spices flavours and you’re ready to serve.
You can see that the recipe makes a lot a food, right? I ate half of it and saved the leftovers on the fridge for Thursday’s lunch. However, when I was talking to my mom and telling me about the success of my attempt I just had the most amazing idea. It’s the juggling that will take this recipe to the next level.
Take note: Just place this wonder into an oven safe dish, grate some parmesan on top of it and place it in the pre heated oven (370°F) for about 10 minutes. Time will change according to your oven, but as soon as you see it bubble and the cheese becomes crusty, you’re good to go. You just made yourself the most amazing cabbage casserole or cabbage lasagna (with no lasagna) ever.
I do ask you to make this casserole version and send me pictures to be featured on this blog. When I had the amazing idea, I had already eaten the portion of the day and the leftovers were already sitting at the office’s fridge.
I’m counting on you! 😉