This simple, inexpensive pasta features the flavors of chef Mike Lata’s Polish upbringing. “It may seem weird to some people,” he says, “but I feel at home when the house smells like cabbage.”
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8 ounces pumpernickel bread, torn into pieces (3 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 head of Savoy cabbage (1 1/2 pounds), shredded
2 cups chicken stock
1 pound rigatoni
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
How to Make It
In a food processor, pulse the bread until coarse crumbs form. In a skillet, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the breadcrumbs and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 minutes. Season with salt.
In a large straight-sided skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, until almost all of the stock has evaporated, 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the cabbage. Stir in the crème fraîche, the 1/2 cup of cheese and, if necessary, the reserved pasta water; season with salt and black pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and garnish with the breadcrumbs, bacon and black pepper. Serve with additional cheese on the side.
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