Pasta with cabbage and smoked prosciutto

Pasta with cabbage and smoked prosciutto

For something with such an unglamorous reputation cabbage is surprisingly tasty and versatile. Just think of kimchi. Or my cabbage fried rice with asafetida recipe. And highly nutritious, too. The Italians seem to have a particular genius for using this humble vegetable, marrying it to anchovies or cheese to make delectable dishes. Thus, searching through Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals in search of inspiration, I was immediately drawn to a pasta recipe involving cabbage and speck (smoked prosciutto). As is typical of Italian–and more generally Mediterranean–cuisine, you need just, er, a speck of meat. But it adds tremendous flavor to the dish, especially welcome at this time of year when fresh produce is in scarce supply. Incidentally, check out this post by Martha Shulman on the health benefits of cabbage and some fantastic recipes.


Pasta with cabbage and smoked prosciutto

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 3/4 lb linguine
  • 1 small head cabbage, shredded into 1/2"-wide ribbons
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 oz speck (smoked prosciutto), thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • optional 2 oz Gruyère, cut into small cubes
  • salt


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt well. Add the cabbage and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Remove the cabbage using a slotted spoon and refresh in cold water. Drain and set aside. Reserve the cooking water.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the speck in a single layer and fry, turning over occasionally, until nicely browned, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Raise heat to medium, stir in the garlic and fry another 2-3 minutes until golden. Add the cabbage and toss to mix well.
    Set aside.
  4. Bring the pot of water in which you cooked the cabbage back to a boil and cook the linguine until al dente. Just before the pasta is done take about 2 tablespoons of the pasta water and add to the cabbage. Drain the pasta and add to the cabbage and cook another 30 seconds. Remove from heat, optionally add the cheese and toss well. Serve hot.

From: Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals by Mario Batali

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