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.
Brisk, fragrant Pinot Grigio.
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