This is one of the simplest weeknight pasta dishes there is, similar in flavor and technique to Heidi Swanson’s deservedly popular white beans and cabbage. It’s no more complicated than shredding some cabbage (this admittedly goes faster when you have a food processor) and boiling some pasta, and tastes restaurant-quality, especially if you spring for good-quality cheese—it really brings out the sweetness in the cabbage.
Adapted from “Molto Batali.” As below, it makes 4 servings.
• 8 oz. gorgonzola: $3
• 1 tsp caraway seeds*: 10 cents
• 2 T vegetable oil: 6 cents
• 1/3 head cabbage, finely shredded (I used the thin slicing disc attachment on the food processor): 43 cents
• 1 lb. penne (or other short shape) pasta: $1.19
• Parsley leaves for garnish: 20 cents
• Salt and pepper: 2 cents
TOTAL: $5/4 = $1.25
*Caraway, that little seed you find in rye bread, can be a somewhat polarizing flavor. If you’re unsure about it, feel free to leave it out.
Set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the cabbage, caraway seeds, and a pinch of salt and cook until cabbage is lightly browned. (Below it is not lightly browned, just to clarify.)
Reduce heat to medium-low (if you have an unresponsive electric stove like I do, you may want to just remove it from the heat) and stir in the gorgonzola. Add a little water or chicken broth if necessary to help the melting. Set aside.
When the water is boiling, add pasta and salt and cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water. Add the pasta to the cabbage mixture, stirring well to evenly distribute, adding pasta water when necessary to keep things moving. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve sprinkled with parsley.