Healthy Pizzoccheri

Healthy Pizzoccheri

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Pizzoccheri is the name of a pasta with buckwheat flour and wheat flour. It is also the name of a deliciously tasting Italian dish with this pasta, green cabbage, potato, tasteful Fontina cheese and sage garlic butter. It is the perfect winter dish. In this version I have slightly adapted the traditional recipe in order to lower the fat and carb count (less butter, less pasta, more vegetables).

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Leiden, the Netherlands

Time needed

20 min preparation + 35 min cooking

Serving Size / Yield

2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 green cabbage or savoy cabbage
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 sage leaves (medium or big sized, use more leafs if they are small)
  • 5 oz. Fontina cheese (140 grams, can be bought in Italian specialty stores)
  • 2 oz. of Parmesan cheese and/or pecorino (60 grams)
  • 1 oz. of butter (30 grams)
  • 7 ounces of pizzoccheri pasta, uncooked (200 grams) (*)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • (*) It can be difficult to find the real pizzoccheri pasta. I only can find it in web shops. Use instead whole wheat flour tagliatelle in order to get the same “bite”. On the Internet one can find recipes to make this pasta fresh but this is “not my cup of tea”.

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Directions

PREPARATION (20 minutes)


Wash the cabbage and remove the ugly leaves. When you use green cabbage remove the dark green leaves (these are to tough). Cut the cabbage in the length into two halves, remove the trunk, and cut it into small pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes of 2/3 inch (1.5-2 centimeters). Cut the garlic into pieces. Wash the sage leaves and cut them into strips. Cut the fontina into cubes of 0.4 inch (1 centimeter) and grate the parmezan cheese.


COOKING (35 minutes)


Heat water in a big cooking pan and add salt. Add the cabbage and the potatoes and let them boil for 15 minutes. Add pasta in the same cooking pan. The cooking time of the pasta can vary between 8 and 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to a temperature of 180 degrees Celcius (356 degrees Fahrenheit). Prepare the sage garlic butter while the vegetables and pasta cook. Fry the sage in the butter on a low fire. Add garlic after 1 minute and fry the ingredients for 5 minutes. Keep the fire low, otherwise the garlic will burn. After frying keep the mixture apart. Pour off the vegetables and the pasta when they are ready. Let them drain in a colander.  Fill a casserole with the ingredients. The first layer consists of 1/3 of the vegetables and pasta mixture. Add pepper to taste. The second layer consists of ½ of the Fontina cheese and ¼ of the Parmesan cheese. The third layer is equal to the first layer. The fourth layer is equal to the second layer. The fifth layer consists of the remains of the vegetables and pasta mixture. Now you spread the sage garlic butter over the dish. You finish with the top layer: the remains of the Parmesan cheese (50 % of the original quantity). Put the casserole in the oven and heat for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.


VARIATIONS


The pizzoccheri pasta can be replaced with whole wheat flour tagliatelle. Please adapt the cook time. If Fontina cheese is not available, replace it with sweet smelly cheese. The taste will be fine but not as good. The cabbage can be wholly or partially replaced with spinach or wild spinach. Cook these vegetables for 1 minute.


DORUS TIPS The pizzoccheri pasta can stick to the bottom of your pan when you boil it.. Stir frequently and scrape the pasta from the bottom when you cook it. The remaining 1/2 cabbage can be cut, blanched and frozen in order to you use it next time. Don't throw away the remains of you dish. This dish tastes even better next day. A perfect lunch snack!

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