Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spicy Cabbage with Chile and Pancetta

Cabbage is always an inexpensive option in the produce section of the store.   The other day I was flipping through one of my Italian cookbooks and was inspired to try this.  Hey, I had all the ingredients so why not?  

Evidently this cabbage based side dish hails from the Abruzzo region of Italy.  The food in Italy is extremely regional which lends itself to fresh local ingredients.  What you may find in the Southern boot region may not resemble what you can find near Venice or the Lakes region in the North.  But, that's okay because for the most part the food is good no matter what!  This "fancy" cabbage is a keeper and will definitely be prepared again in this house!  Surprisingly good!

2 Tbsp olive oil

about 4-5 "rounds" of pancetta, chopped  

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes (depends how hot you want it

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

about 3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage

1/4 cup water

salt & pepper to taste (for me, not much salt since the pancetta is salty)

In a large skillet on medium heat add the oil,  pancetta, onion and chile flakes and cook until onion is tender.   Add the garlic and stir for another minute or two.  Add the cabbage and water, stir and reduce the heat to low, cover and cook another 25-30 minutes.  Stir occasionally during this time.  Keep an eye on it and add more water to prevent sticking.

Serves 3-4 side dish portions.

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