A couple of months ago, I wrote about my decade-long excursion deep into my Polish heritage. See here. I promised then that I would share a couple of hearty Polish recipes that I’ve become proficient at once the weather got cooler, so seeing as we’re more than half-way through October, it’s time for the first one; Kluski i Kapusta (Noodles and Cabbage).
Noodles and cabbage is a Polish favorite. It’s probably the #1 national comfort dish of Poland. Not a big fan of steamed cabbage? Don’t worry, neither am I. But the cabbage is actually a great complement to the other ingredients in this recipe. This dish definitely has an Old World, European flavor. Every Polish cook has their own variation of Kluski i Kapusta and here’s my spin on it that I’ve tweaked over the years.
Kluski i Kapusta (Cabbage & Noodles)
- Cooking spray
- 8 strips of bacon
- 1 lb. smoked kielbasa, sliced or cubed into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 head of green cabbage, cored and sliced into strips
- 1 14 oz. can chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
- 1 tsp. fresh dill finely chopped
- 3 dashes Frank’s Red Hot or Tabasco
- 1 lb. kluski noodles (authentic kluski noodles can usually be found in the pasta section of most larger supermarkets, especially in the Northeast. Substitute any other type of noodles you prefer if not available.)
Coat bottom of large pot with cooking spray. Place pot on burner and turn heat to medium-medium high. Add bacon and fry until crisp. Remove bacon. Add kielbasa to pot and brown in bacon grease for 2-3 minutes. Remove kielbasa. Leave 2 tbsp. of grease drippings in pot, discard the rest. Add garlic and onion to pot. Cook several minutes until onion is softened. Add cabbage, chicken broth, salt, pepper, caraway seeds, dill, hot sauce, and kielbasa. Crumble 4 strips of bacon and add. Stir. Cook 20 minutes stirring every couple of minutes.
Turn heat to low. Cover pot. Simmer for 3 hours until cabbage is completely wilted, stirring occasionally. Ah, the aroma!
In separate pot, boil kluski noodles according to package directions. Drain. Combine noodles with other ingredients. Transfer to large serving bowl and top with remaining 4 strips of bacon, crumbled.
Serves quite a few. 🙂
Smacznego! (Polish for “Bon appétit”) 🍴