Pasta with Cabbage and Sausagemeat

Sometimes it rains in summer. Sometimes it makes you feel a little autumnal. Sometimes you need cabbage with nutmeg and pork in the middle of July even though it reminds you of October. All of these things happen, and all are OK.

That is what happened today. After London has been bathed in glorious sunshine and record breaking temperatures, today it poured, reminding us Brits of the summers that we’re used to. With this being my first week back after my Ibizan holiday a little comfort food was in order to cushion the shock of 18 degrees.

Pork and cabbage are a match made in heaven with cultures all over the world embracing the combination. Whilst I’ve used savoy cabbage this would be equally lovely with kale, spring greens or cavolo nero. You could even ditch the pasta and use as a decadent side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork sausages, the best you can find
  • 1/2 small savoy cabbage
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250g rigatoni
  1. Thinly dice the onion, remove the sausages from their skins and finely shred the cabbage.
  2. Heat some olive oil over a medium heat and sweat the onions. Before they are cooked break up the sausagemeat into small non-uniform chunks and begin to brown. These small chunks of pork will be scattered throughout the dish so break them up as much as possible with a wooden spoon as you stir.
  3. Add the spices and crush the garlic into the pan whilst the meat finishes browning.
  4. This is probably a good time to boil a kettle and get the pasta on. Salt the water well and cook until soft with a little bite. I’ve chosen rigatoni as it’s bulky shape means it holds up well against chunky sauces.
  5. Add the chicken stock to the sausage meat mixture and simmer for 5 minutes before adding the cabbage. Stir it through thoroughly ensuring it’s coated in the mixture.
  6. Once the cabbage is nearly cooked add in the lemon juice. This will give a fresher taste to the dish, whilst keeping its comfort food credentials intact. This is also the time to season. I found that the sausages I used and the chicken stock gave enough salt to the dish without the need for much more, so remember to taste as you go.
  7. Once the rigatoni’s cooked add a ladleful of starchy water to the sauce as it will help the two to combine. Drain off the remaining water and fold the pasta into the pork and cabbage mixture.
  8. Spoon into bowls and serve with a small grating of parmesan.