Friday, November 6, 2009

Sweet and sour pasta

I was very excited to try a recipe we picked up at Wegman's last weekend, because it is one of the few recipes that seemed truly new to me. It's not something I ever would've put together, it didn't even exactly make sense, and if I hadn't tasted it I probably would've turned my nose up at it.

The name they gave it escapes me (and I can't put my hand on the recipe card--sorry!) but it was designed for a slow cooker. I chose to make it all at once, but I think it did lack a certain marriage of flavor and textural surrender that 10 hours of cooking brings.

The recipe calls for chopped green cabbage, golden raisins, sausage, tomato paste, crushed tomato, red wine vinegar, red onion, a pinch of sugar and, of course, salt/pepper. Originally all of this was to be layered in the crock pot and let go, but I adapted it. First, I browned the sausage and removed it from the pan. Then I softened the onion and added the cabbage, cooking until it was all soft and had released moisture. I chopped the raisins and pureed them with some of the tomato liquid to accelerate the flavor release, then added to the pan with the rest of the ingredients. I allowed it all to simmer and bubble away for an hour or so, then served over pasta.

It was, indeed, both sweet and sour, as well as hearty and tasty. Generally, the idea of cabbage with tomato sauce is a bit distasteful to me, although I know there' s a tradition of it, a la stuffed cabbage leaves. In this recipe, it worked. As a slow cooker recipe, the cabbage was almost indistinguishable. In mine, it was a bit more to the fore front. The raisins were inspired, I feel, although I want to punch the recipe up with some more spice (we added it individually to portions and it really helped) and possibly fresh herbs and wine. Glad we tried it!

1 comment:

  1. I think it was something 'agrodolce' or a word to that effect...