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Noodles with cabbage, poppy seeds and pepitas

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Noodles with cabbage, poppy seeds and pepitas
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
1

Quarter the cabbage lengthwise. Put each quarter on its side and shred with a heavy knife by cutting the cabbage in thin slices, first crosswise, then around the core; remove the core and any thick ribs. You should have 11 to 11 1/2 cups shredded cabbage.

2

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wide, heavy stew pan. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to turn golden, about 18 minutes. Add the cabbage, and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook uncovered over medium heat (the cabbage will seem like a very large amount at first, but it will cook down), stirring often, until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. While the cabbage is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

3

Sprinkle the mixture with sugar and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 7 minutes.

4

Meanwhile, cook the noodles uncovered in the boiling water until al dente according to the instructions on the pasta packaging (check the pasta 1 to 2 minutes before the time indicated to make sure it isn’t already done). Drain, reserving one-half cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

5

Add the noodles to the pan of cabbage. Toss over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Add about 3 tablespoons of the reserved noodle cooking liquid, or enough to moisten the mixture lightly, and cook until the noodles are well coated with the cabbage mixture, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the poppy seeds. Off heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

6

Stir most of the pepitas and parsley with the pasta and cabbage, leaving about one-fourth of each to sprinkle over as garnish. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as desired. Serve hot, sprinkled with the reserved pepitas and parsley.

You can cook the cabbage and onion mixture ahead and keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Pepitas, or shelled pumpkin seeds, are generally available at well-stocked markets. Poppy seeds are also generally available at well-stocked markets, as well as at Eastern European and Middle Eastern markets.

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