Cabbage with Pancetta

Cabbage gets a raw deal. Granted, it can produce the foulest smelling excretions known to man, but it is also one of the tastiest vegetables ever. Fact. I especially love Savoy cabbage – the one with the rippled leaves – it’s actually very hard to come by in Australia for some unknown reason, so when I saw it at the Sydney Markets recently, I swooped on it like a starving hawk – almost ripping it out of the arms of a small Chinese lady. There’s only one way to cook Savoy in my book – with pancetta ham, garlic and cream. It’s like cabbage carbonara. The thin sauce clings to the rippled leaves, making every mouthful a taste sensation – it’s sublime. It really is.

1 Savoy cabbage (roughly shredded)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pancetta (diced)
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup single cream
salt & pepper

Heat the butter in a large pan over a moderate heat until bubbling. Add the pancetta and stir for 2-3 minutes until just starting to crispen. Add the garlic and thyme and stir for 30 seconds before pouring in the wine. Let this sizzle briefly then tip in the cabbage and add 1/4 cup water. Stir a little then pop on a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes until the cabbage has wilted slightly. Pour in the cream and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 more minutes until the cabbage is cooked through. Season with salt & pepper and serve hot.

Serve as a side dish to meat or poultry.

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