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Only a few ingredients and very little work and you will have a delicious and comforting plate of noodles with lots of cabbage and topped with sour cream and dill.
This is one of those recipes I make when I happen to have the rest of a huge cabbage in my fridge. I buy cabbage very often, we have it in lots of different ways, but most white cabbages I get to buy around here, especially if I do my grocery shopping in the Turkish/ Russian store are huge.
Sometimes, I only need the outer larger leaves to make Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, for instance, but even if I plan to make a plain cabbage dish like this Simple and Spicy Cabbage Turmeric Stew or this Healthy Romanian Stewed Cabbage, I still have at least a quarter leftover fresh cabbage. And if I happen to have leftovers from the above-mentioned cabbage dishes (Turmeric Cabbage or Stewed Cabbage), I make the leftovers warm and mix them with freshly cooked pasta.
This is the last recipe from the Hungarian inspired dishes series that are so commonly eaten in Transylvania – Romania where I was born and the first in the German inspired dishes that are also commonly eaten in Transylvania. I was not sure where to put it exactly because it is a dish that claims to be Hungarian, but also German or Saxon and also Romanian.
I have seen it with a Hungarian name – Kaposztas teszta, with a Polish one – Haluski, I have found it in old Transylvanian Saxon cookbooks as Krautfleckerl and I used to think it is a Romanian recipe, because everybody seems to know it and it can be found in probably all Romanian cookbooks I have.
No wonder that everybody in Eastern Europe seems to love it: it is delicious, comforting and it will keep you full for a long time, it is healthy, it uses very few ingredients and it’s very very cheap to make.
As you can see in the photographs we served the cabbage with fried turkey liver, fresh from the turkey we bought last week from a poultry farmer in the village. That is optional, but it really was a wonderful addition to the cabbage noodles (not what the kids are concerned though, they refuse to eat liver). However, I only made the liver because I had it fresh and I did not want to freeze it, so I cooked it immediately. Most of the times we have the Easy Cabbage Noodles with Sour Cream and Dill as they are, with no extra things on the side.
- 1 small cabbage or ½ or ¼ a larger one (about 800 g/ 28 oz)
- 1 onion
- 2-3 tablespoons oil
- 450 g/ 1 lbs egg noodles
- sweet paprika powder
- thyme or savory
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple vinegar
- 200 g/ 7 oz sour cream or smetana
- salt and pepper
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, quarter it and remove the core. Slice the quarters very thinly into long thin strips. If the quarters are very large, you could halve them crosswise in the middle before slicing, so that the strips are not excessively long.
Chop the onion finely.
Heat the oil in a large thick bottomed pot. Cook the onion for a few minutes until translucent. Add the cabbage and stir well. If the cabbage doesn't fit in the pot from the beginning, give only half of it to the pot and stir for a few minutes until it loses volume. You can then add the rest of the cabbage.
Add the sweet paprika powder and the dry thyme or savory, stir well and add a little water, only about 150 ml/ 5 fl.oz/ a bit more than ½ cup. Cover tightly and cook on low heat for about 20-30 minutes or until the cabbage is done to your liking.
Don't forget to stir every 5-6 minutes or so and do not worry too much if the cabbage catches very slightly to the bottom of the pan, that will make it taste even better in the end. It should not burn though, just caramelize slightly and get some darker spots here and there, so keep an eye on it, stir and add a tiny amount of water but only if absolutely necessary, the cabbage should release enough liquid itself to make it cook, provided you keep the lid on the pot and don't let the steam escape.
In the meantime bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt generously and cook the pasta according to the packet's instructions.
When the cabbage is done, adjust the taste with salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar.
Drain the noodles and keep about 125 ml/ ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Give the dripping wet noodles to the cabbage pot and stir well. Add a little of the reserved pasta water if the dish appears to be too dry. Keep in mind that you will add sour cream to the dish as well. It is a dryish dish, so serving it with sour cream or smetana is mandatory, if you ask me.
Sprinkle the dish with chopped dill (or even parsley) and serve immediately with a generous dollop of sour cream or smetana.
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