Cabbage e Pepe

March 12, 2017
6 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 4 to 6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cheryl
  • Nathan Campbell
    Nathan Campbell
  • epicharis
  • Mamasays
  • allis

20 Reviews

Mariond. December 18, 2021
A wonderful dish for winter season ! Very tasty and simple. Next time i will cut some of the butter, adding more water during cooking and use more parmesan. Will definitely redo :)
aclincol November 23, 2020
We loved this dish... had it with roasted leeks and fingerling potatoes. I used regular green cabbage and it turned out great. And it was still good with just half the parmesan cheese. Cheers!
Cheryl April 7, 2020
I should have doubled this! I used 3T vegan butter to braise (and somewhat brown) 2 onions because that's what I had and I like more onion. Then used olive oil instead of butter for the second part when I put in cabbage. It was perfectly delicious without the lemon juice. However, I did add the lemon juice and a little vegan Parm sprinkled on top when I served it. I think you could go either way--no lemon and no Parm--or if you add lemon, definitely add the Parm. Thank you!
Nancy E. March 16, 2019
This was delicious!
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??
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.
Mamasays 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?
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.
Sarah J. March 26, 2017
Hooray! Made my day to hear you enjoyed it.
Sarah J. March 26, 2017
Hooray! Made my day to hear you enjoyed it.