Hot Italian sausage does the bulk of the heavy lifting when it comes to flavor in this recipe. I used it more as a seasoning and for its fat than as a substantial contributor to the recipe’s bulk. (If you prefer to use a turkey-based sausage, note that you might need to use extra olive oil to compensate for the lack of fat.) And because a fairly small amount of sausage is called for, this dish is an easy entry point for anyone looking to cut down on meat consumption.
The cabbage and onion pick up tons of flavor from the sausage’s rendered fat. A couple of cans of white beans — or whatever beans you have on hand — add heft and earthiness, while a bit of cream provides richness. You’ll cover the pan with a mixture of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs before baking for a cheesy, crunchy, golden topping. (This recipe calls for plain breadcrumbs, but panko would also work.) It all comes together in about an hour, making for a great weeknight dinner option.
Make Ahead: The dish can be made up until the topping part 1 day in advance and refrigerated. To bake, top with the breadcrumb-Parmesan mixture and cook as instructed, adding a few more minutes to the time to account for the cold filling.
Storage Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- 8 ounces loose hot Italian sausage
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), quartered, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion (about 7 ounces), thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 (15.5-ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellini, great Northern or navy, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) plain breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup packed (1 ounce) finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving (optional)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.
In a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, combine the sausage with 2 tablespoons of oil. Set the skillet over medium heat and cook, breaking the meat apart with a spoon until the fat has been rendered and the sausage is no longer pink, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate, leaving behind the fat in the skillet.
Add the sliced cabbage and onion, in batches if necessary, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes.
Add the beans, heavy cream and the reserved sausage to the skillet and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. (Transfer to a casserole dish if not using an oven-safe skillet.)
In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle evenly over the cabbage mixture.
Bake for about 15 minutes until bubbling and lightly golden on top. Let cool slightly, sprinkle with the parsley, if using, and serve.
Calories: 533; Total Fat: 22 g; Saturated Fat: 8 g; Cholesterol: 48 mg; Sodium: 564 mg; Carbohydrates: 61 g; Dietary Fiber: 14 g; Sugar: 7 g; Protein: 25 g.