Cabbage is a staple vegetable in Slovenia; here it is wilted in bacon fat and spiced with cayenne before being tossed with homemade noodle dough for this traditional pasta dish.
Homemade Pasta with Spicy Cabbage and Bacon (Krpice)
Wilted in bacon fat and spiced with cayenne, cabbage is tossed with homemade noodle dough for this traditional Slovenian pasta dish.
1 1⁄2 cups (7 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
2 oz. slab or thick-cut bacon, cut into 2-by-3-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 1⁄2 cups (9 oz.) roughly chopped green cabbage
1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
1⁄4 tsp. cayenne
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, stir the flour with the 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, the eggs, and 2 tablespoons water until a stiff dough forms. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead until smooth, about 6 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough until 1⁄8 inch thick. Cut the dough into 2-by-1-inch squares, transfer to a flour-dusted baking sheet, and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, until it dissolves, 2 minutes. Add the bacon and onion and cook, stirring, until the bacon renders its fat and the onion is lightly caramelized, about 12 minutes. Add the cabbage, cumin, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until the cabbage softens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, add the pasta and cook, stirring, until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water, and add to the cabbage along with the cooking water. Cook the pasta and cabbage, stirring, until combined, about 1 minute. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, transfer to a serving bowl, and serve while hot.