This is a northern Italian dish. There’s no chilli in it but you can add some (add it to the onion) if you want it. It never ceases to amaze me just how easy a dish like this is to cook, and how delicious the result.


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes




  • 350g Italian sausage (or any other pork sausage you like)
  • 350g savoy cabbage, tough core removed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 75ml dry white wine or dry white vermouth
  • 350g maccheroni or other pasta shapes
  • 125ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme and marjoram)
  • 10g grated Parmesan or pecorino, plus more to serve


  1. Remove the casing from the sausage and shape the meat into small nuggets, a little bigger than a hazelnut in its shell.
  2. Remove the thick rib from each cabbage leaf and discard, then slice the leaves into strips about 1cm thick.
  3. Heat 1½ tbsp of the olive oil in a sauté pan and fry the sausage until it’s browned all over, then remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Add the onion to the oil in the pan and sauté it until soft, about 12 minutes. Toss in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the wine or vermouth and let the alcohol bubble away until it has almost disappeared.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling, lightly salted water for a few minutes less than suggested on the packet.
  7. Put the sausage back in the pan with the cabbage and season. Add the stock and heat it. Put the lid on the pan and cook, shaking the pan from time to time, until the cabbage has wilted.
  8. Remove the lid and cook over a high heat until the juices have reduced to coat the sausage and cabbage. Stir in the cheese.
  9. Drain the pasta and combine it with everything in the sauté pan. Grind black pepper over the top and serve with more Parmesan.

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