kitchenblissca-kaposztas-teszta.jpg

Flour, eggs, water and whatever.

That could well have been "a fundamental" for peasant cooking in Hungary. While I do not know the facts behind this custom, authentic and thorough Hungarian cookbooks will share many recipes for pasta mixed with various things.

Pasta with cabbage (pictured here - káposztás tészta), or pasta mixed with potatoes (krumplis tészta - that's double carbs!), with poppy-seed (mákos tészta), with ground walnuts (diós tészta), with jam (dark, thick plum butter - lekváros tészta), with farmer's cheese and bacon and bacon fat (túrós csusza - see my blog post about this), or farmer's cheese and dill.

All of these appeared at meals in my house growing up - though I did not have a taste for all of them until I was older. I usually stuck to pasta with jam - and I know it sounds peculiar - but that would have been supper - not dessert - supper, the main, that's it.

[Permit a little aside. The pasta with jam was, in my childhood home, called "dzsemes teszta". There is no such word as "dzsem", but if you use Hungarian pronunciation rules and then listen to what you are saying - it sounds like the English word "jam" with a wee Hungarian accent. Hunglish! This is "a thing" - someone even began to pull together a Hunglish dictionary - and one day I'll share many of the Hunglish words in my grandmother's hand-written recipe book. Adorable!]

The recipe I always turn to for this - although it hardly seems to constitute a "recipe" - is from The Art of Hungarian Cooking (1954).

If you Google káposztás tészta, and view the "image" results, you can see that some people like the cabbage to be very finely chopped. I can't really argue with that. It means that the cabbage may be more likely to stick to every strand of pasta. If you like that style, then the cabbage should be grated by hand or in a food processor - unless you are brilliant at doing a "fine chop" with a knife. The recipe then suggests mixing the finely chopped cabbage with a bit of salt and letting it stand for 30 minutes - then squeezing out the moisture.

You can see from the photo that I chop it into small-ish chinks - but not small enough to react to "salt and stand". So I do not do that step.

The original recipe also uses only 3 cups of cabbage which it claims serves 6. I just cook up all of a small cabbage, or half of a large one. The ratio of cabbage to pasta is up to you - in the KB kitchen we may like more cabbage than others. Bottom line is that this is my "batch" recipe vs the small portion recipe in the book which is: 3 cups finely chopped cabbage, 2 tablespoons fat, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon pepper.

 

cabbage - small or half a large

2 TB fat or lard
2Tb sugar

1 TB black or white pepper

1 tsp salt

Finley chop the cabbage - you may end up 12 or so cups - this will cook down.

For optimal, authentic flavour you should use lard.

Brown the cabbage in the fat which has been heated with the sugar. Add pepper, and stir and cook. Cover after five minutes and cook until done. ("Done" means that it has cooked down, has a glorious colour and flavour.) Season to taste with salt.

Cook the noodles in boiling salted water until tender. Combine with cooked cabbage heat and serve


Notes and Tips...

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