Penne with Cabbage and Sausage


Serves: 4

Preparation time: 45 min.

This hearty dish from Calabria, Penne con Verza e Salsiccia, needs little else to provide a satisfying and tasty meal. Savoy’s cabbage robust flavor and texture contrast exceptionally well with the sausage and pasta.


  • 1 lb (450 g) penne or other tubular pasta
  • 1 lb (450 g) Savoy cabbage, cut into very thin slivers
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chop
  • 1 lb (450 g) Italian sausage, cut into 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) rounds
  • 3 cups (750 ml) homemade Marinara Sauce (see below)
  • freshly grated Parmesan

Marinara Sauce:

  • 3 cups (675 g) peeled tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, bay leaf and sauté for 10 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes along with the oregano and thyme. Cook for 20 minutes longer or until sauce starts to thicken. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and cook savoy cabbage for about 5 minutes or until just soft. Drain cabbage in a colander saving the cooking liquid. Run cabbage under cold water to keep its green color. Drain again and set aside until ready to use.

In another saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sausage. Sauté briefly for 3 minutes or until sausages lose their raw color. Add cabbage and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Add marinara sauce and cook for 5 minutes longer. Adjust for salt and pepper if necessary.

Bring cabbage cooking liquid to a boil again. Add more water if necessary. Add salt, a tablespoon of olive oil and the pasta. Cook according to package instructions. Drain pasta and return it to the saucepan. Stir in cabbage-sausage mix and the marinara sauce by the spoon. Pasta mix should not be too soggy. Stir just until combined. Serve with grated Parmesan.

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