Though tempting, it's probably not a good idea to down a big 'ol bowl of pasta every night. So it's time to get smart – you can have your noodles and slurp them with a yummy tweak or two.
Thinly sliced cabbage is the perfect playmate for noodles, seared to a slight crisp, caramelized in shimmering olive oil and garlic. Mixed with hearty bucatini, you get your carb fix, but in a smaller serving. Uncork a crisp white or a fruity red and say “cheers” to the new, buca-teeny you.
Buca-teeny Pasta with Crispy Garlic, Caramelized Cabbage and Toasted Walnuts
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 to 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup favorite marinara
6 to 8 ounces bucatini, cooked according to package directions, drained
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted until fragrant
Freshly grated Romano cheese
Heat olive oil until shimmering over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add cabbage (it should sizzle when it hits the pan) and evenly distribute in pan. Wait a minute or so, then check the bottom of cabbage – if it's golden brown, flip and leave another minute or so.
Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Turn down heat and carefully stir in marinara. Add bucatini and toss with the toasted walnuts and Romano. Serve immediately.
Diva Confession: Make this recipe an Asian-inspired noodle nosh. Keep the cabbage and bucatini, but switch out the marinara for a small amount of hoisin sauce and chicken stock to taste. Before serving, toss with toasted peanuts instead of walnuts, and pass with lime wedges and thinly sliced scallions.