Penne with Cabbage and Sausage

  • Serves

    serves 6

Originally from Calabria, this dish is now a Rao's restaurant standard.


  • 1 small savoy cabbage (about 1 lb.), cut into 6 pieces
  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed, cut into small pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups warm Marinara Sauce
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • Freshly grated pecorino romano


Step 1

Put cabbage in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until just soft, about 5 minutes. Drain, then plunge cabbage into ice water, drain again, and pat dry. Cut into bite-size pieces and set aside.

Step 2

Heat oil with garlic in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add sausage and sauté until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add cabbage, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring a few times, about 2 minutes. Add marinara sauce and cook until flavors blend, about 5 minutes.

Step 3

Cook penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but firm, 7–12 minutes. Drain, return to pot, stir in some sauce, then transfer to a platter and top with remaining sauce. Serve with grated pecorino romano.

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