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Cabbage Sausage Pasta

Half a box of pasta, a pound of sausage, and some green cabbage that was tucked in the fridge added up to a winning last-minute meal a few weeks ago. It was such a hit with my family that I decided to make it again and write up the recipe to share with you all.

My family loved this dinner so much, there may have even been an argument over who was going to eat the leftovers. I love it so very much when a dinner created from whatever happens to be on hand turns out to be this delicious.

horizontal overhead photo of pasta in skillet on wooden table

Pasta with Sausage

The magic that sausage adds to a pasta dish can’t be overstated. Sausage adds incredible flavor to pasta recipes and I find myself using it regularly.

As I learned with my cousin’s Pizza Soup recipe many years ago, a little bit of sausage goes a long way toward flavoring a dish. You don’t need to buy a fancy sausage either! I keep several packages of basic breakfast sausage (mild and spicy varieties) on hand in the freezer for quick and easy dinners.

There are endless ways to use everyday breakfast sausage for easy dinners with minimal effort and the sausage recipes here are a testament to that.

close up of sausage pasta with cabbage

Cabbage Pasta

Pasta with cabbage is another of my favorite ways to cook pasta. The cabbage adds an awesome freshness to a pasta dish while keeping it a bit lighter overall. Egg roll in a bowl ramen is an irresistible skillet of deconstructed egg rolls tossed with ramen noodles and it’s the perfect example of how spectacular cabbage and pasta can be when combined.

It’s hard to believe that I once wasn’t a fan of cabbage. And I enjoy it so much now. Cabbage has a place of its own in my crisper drawer. It’s always on hand and makes a terrific side dish on its own or when added to other dishes.

Cabbage with noodles, cabbage with mashed potatoes (a.k.a. Colcannon), cabbage with creamy white beans, or a corned beef and cabbage hash for breakfast or dinner? Oh yes, I’ll happily eat it all.

sausage cooking in stainless skillet

Pasta with Cabbage and Sausage

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • pasta
  • reserved pasta cooking water
  • sausage
  • butter
  • onion and garlic
  • cabbage
  • crushed red pepper and kosher salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • fresh lemon juice
  • fresh basil
onions cooking in stainless skillet

Sausage Pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta, reserving about 2 cups of the pasta cooking liquid.

While the pasta is boiling, warm a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally to break up into bite-size pieces. Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate; leaving the drippings in the skillet.

adding pasta water to skillet with cabbage

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the drippings. Add the onion and cook, scraping up browned bits in the skillet, until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes.

Add the cabbage, garlic, red pepper, and salt. Toss to coat in the drippings and add about a ¼ cup of pasta water to the skillet. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, scraping the pan as needed.

pasta and sausage in large skillet

When the cabbage is tender, add the cooked pasta and sausage to the skillet, along with 1 cup of the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until the liquid thickens to lightly coat the pasta, about 3 minutes.

Don’t panic if you forget to reserve the pasta cooking water, you can also use chicken broth for this, if needed. Pasta water is my preference though, as the starches in the water will help to thicken the pasta sauce in the end. 

adding lemon juice to skillet

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, cheese, and lemon juice; cook, stirring constantly, until saucy, 1 to 2 minutes, adding a splash or two more of the reserved cooking liquid, as needed, to achieve the desired sauce consistency. Taste the pasta and add more salt, only if needed.

Sprinkle with basil and toss to combine right before serving. Serve with additional red pepper and Parmesan, if desired.

overhead shot of pasta dish with sausage

We probably use sausage in our pasta recipes more than any other meat and these are some of our favorite sausage pasta recipes. This Cheesy Pizza Pasta Bake with pepperoni, sausage, peppers, mushrooms, and onions has all of our favorite supreme pizza flavors in an awesome bowl of pasta.

Creamy, spicy, pasta with bell peppers and sausage is a 20-minute meal that everyone loves. My family will happily eat this Cajun Sausage Pasta any night of the week.

close up of pasta with cabbage and sausage

Savory sausage, creamy ricotta and mozzarella, and your favorite spaghetti sauce are baked with bowtie pasta in this Lazy Lasagna recipe twist on traditional lasagna.

Tender tortellini pasta filled with cheese or spinach is simmered along with Italian sausage in a rich and flavorful sauce to make this recipe for Sausage, Tortellini, and Spinach in a Creamy Tomato Sauce.

horizontal overhead photo of pasta in skillet on wooden table
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Cabbage Sausage Pasta

Bite-size pasta, spicy sausage, and tender-crisp cabbage add up to a winning dinner that you can pull together in less than 30 minutes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces bite-size pasta
  • 2-3 cups reserved pasta cooking water *
  • 1 pound sausage mild or hot
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 small (or ½ large) head of green cabbage chopped small, about 6 cups
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese grated, about ½ cup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 fresh basil leaves thinly sliced, about 1 tablespoon

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta, reserving about 2 cups of the pasta cooking liquid.
  • While the pasta is boiling, warm a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally to break up into bite-size pieces. Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate; leaving the drippings in the skillet.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the drippings. Add the onion and cook, scraping up browned bits in the skillet, until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage, garlic, red pepper, and salt. Toss to coat in the drippings and add about a ¼ cup of pasta water to the skillet. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, scraping the pan as needed.
  • When the cabbage is tender, add the cooked pasta and sausage to the skillet, along with 1 cup of the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until the liquid thickens to lightly coat the pasta, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, cheese, and lemon juice; cook, stirring constantly, until saucy, 1 to 2 minutes, adding a splash or two more of the reserved cooking liquid, as needed, to achieve the desired sauce consistency. Taste the pasta and add more salt, only if needed.
  • Sprinkle with basil and toss to combine right before serving. Serve with additional red pepper and Parmesan, if desired.

Notes

* Don’t panic if you forget to reserve the pasta cooking water, you can also use chicken broth for this, if needed. Pasta water is my preference though, as the starches in the water will help to thicken the pasta sauce in the end. 
closeup of pasta dish with sausage and cabbage

The post Cabbage Sausage Pasta appeared first on Barefeet in the Kitchen.

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