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Orecchiette with Savoy Cabbage and Caramelized Onions


This clever riff on ham and cabbage gets its sweetness from the caramelized onions.

slideshow Fast Weekday Pastas


  1. 1/2 pound orecchiette
  2. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  5. 6 ounces thinly sliced ham, cut into strips
  6. 1 1/2 pounds Savoy cabbage, cored and finely shredded
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese, for serving
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until al dente; drain and reserve along with 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring often, until browned, about 8 minutes Add the ham and cook until it starts to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Cover the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring once or twice, until the cabbage is tender, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the orecchiette and the reserved cooking water to the saucepan along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil and toss. Cook over moderate heat until the pasta is hot. Serve immediately, passing the cheese at the table.