Cabbage e Pepe

March 12, 2017

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Shaved into long, thin strands and sweated in a covered pot, cabbage becomes as luxurious as a bowl of buttered noodles. Of course, it helps to cook said cabbage in actual butter, and to add a pile of Parmesan at the end and stir furiously, thereby enrobing each cabbage noodle (coodle?) in its creamy saltiness. Use a pair of tongs to twirl the cabbage onto a plate, where the pieces will tangle and twist just like the real noodles they aren't.

Inspired by Jessica Koslow's Brussels Sprouts and Leeks Cacio e Pepe.
Sarah Jampel

Serves: 4 to 6


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 leek, tough outer leaves removed, sliced thinly into half-moons, and rinsed thoroughly
  • 8 cups (packed) thinly shredded Savoy cabbage (620 grams)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, plus more to taste
In This Recipe


  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high. When it's bubbling, add the sliced leeks and season with salt. Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of water, stir everything around, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the leeks are soft and melty. It's okay if they're browning a bit, too.
  2. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and the cabbage. Season with salt and stir so that the cabbage is coated. Add another 1 1/2 tablespoons of water, then cover the pot. Cook the cabbage, stirring occasionally, until it's glistening, soft, and significantly reduced. This will takes 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over top of the vegetables and add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and the black pepper. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Top with the remaining Parmesan before serving. Add more black pepper if you'd like, too.

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Reviews (16) Questions (0)

16 Reviews

Nathan C. September 2, 2018
This recipe is amazingly delicious for as simple as it is. Very popular in our house. I reduce the butter by about 2 Tbl and add a little olive oil. Thanks for this!
epicharis April 2, 2017
This was outrageously good, but in fairness, anything with that much cheese and butter will be. But what a brilliant way to cook such an underappreciated vegetable. You can reduce the cheese and butter by about a third and it's still luxurious.
Kelly K. March 31, 2017
I adore cabbage!! I am a lowfat vegan... can you help me make this within those guidelines??
Author Comment
Sarah J. March 31, 2017
Hi Kelly, I'm a little stumped on that! Maybe folks on the Hotline - - will have more ideas than I do, so you might want to try asking there!!
Hanna C. April 29, 2018
Maybe try cooking leek and cabbage in olive oil and add salted water to give it a nice silky glaze (just like when you add pasta cooking water to a sauce). Then stir in a vegan parm followed by a good sprinkle on top. Vegan parm can be made with raw cashews, nooch (nutritional yeast) garlic powder, raw garlic (optional), and salt. <br />
Dara March 27, 2017
I have had something like this made with a buckwheat noodle---kind of like fettucine shape. I have never seen in the stores and have been tempted to make by hand but I am too intimidated to try making pasta. I have a little machine that I have only tried once in 3 years!
Amy March 27, 2017
Do it Dara! Homemade pasta is easy and very much worth it, albeit a bit of time and effort.
allis March 27, 2017
I'm a big fan of lemon zest instead of/in addition to the lemon juice. More pure lemon flavor without the sourness
Becky March 27, 2017
This was outstanding and satisfying on many levels. We topped with some gremolata breadcrumbs and mixed with spicy greens and sausage.
Jenna March 27, 2017
Will it still be good with regular green cabbage I can't find Savoy?
Author Comment
Sarah J. March 27, 2017
Yes, it should work! The cabbage might take a bit longer to cook down and soften, however.
Amy March 27, 2017
I used a half a head of red cabbage because it is what I had on hand and it was great!!
Amy March 26, 2017
WOW, unbelievably delicious! I went with the chili flakes, bacon, diced veggie sausage and sunflower seeds. Absolutely amazing!
Kim S. March 25, 2017
This was so good. A simple recipe with real comfort food flavor.
Author Comment
Sarah J. March 26, 2017
Hooray! Made my day to hear you enjoyed it.
Author Comment
Sarah J. March 26, 2017
Hooray! Made my day to hear you enjoyed it.