I’m sure that if you grew up in an Eastern European country, you know about a very simple yet delicious dish – onions and cabbage fried in butter then combined with salt, peppers and egg noodles. Butter caramelizes the veggies, giving them more flavors. Some people add kielbasa, caraway seed or pork. You don’t need to search for these fancy ingredients though, because pancetta is a great addition to the traditional recipe. It gives a fantastic flavor to this simple recipe.
Haluski is a traditional Polish recipe that is not only quick and easy to make, but also very affordable. You don’t need to spend a lot of time to cook a big batch and save the leftovers for the next day. This is a great dish to make for a group of hungry people. You can make them with or without meat if you have vegetarian friends. Traditionally, noodles are homemade as well. Even though it’s an ambitious project to make noodles, I usually buy them in the store and don’t feel guilty about it. I just want a quick and easy breakfast, and store-bought noodles are perfect for that.
Cabbage is one of my favorite ingredients because it’s so huge that you can use it in many recipes, and it has different flavors depending on how you choose to cook it. I like it raw because it gives a crunch to my tacos and complement fat pork. I also like it cooked because it gets very tender and juicy.
The buttery, soft, braised cabbage is always a good choice for recipes that include beef, pork or other meet. In crunchy sides, cabbage has a necessary heat, which works really well with savory foods. If you’re not a fan of raw cabbage, you should try cooking it and taste its sweet and mellow flavor.
Polish Haluski, which is basically cabbage and noodles, is a very quick recipe because the longest time is required to slice the cabbage. If you have busy days, you can make a big batch on weekends and eat it the following days. Just make a bit pot of noodles and cabbage and add sausages or cheese.
I love sautéed onions and cabbage because I think this gives vegetables the best flavor. The dish is so popular in some countries that there are even special haluski maker that let you cook everything in a minute. In Poland and Czech Republic they would chop the dough from a board into the water but I find this technique hard to master and you need to make many haluski to get the perfect result. I’m sure many of us are better at rolling little snakes of dough and cutting them than mastering advanced Eastern European cutting techniques. This dish may not look the best, it doesn’t have stunning and vibrant colors. But it’s like Mac and Cheese that taste much better than it looks. You should trust me that Haluski are really delicious.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 5 portions
15 ml olive oil
1 package noodles
45 ml butter
1 pound sliced sausages
1 chopped onion
2 minced garlic
1 chopped cabbage
5 ml salt
5 ml black pepper
250 ml peas
Cook noodles according to the package instructions, it usually takes 4 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Take a pan, put it over medium heat and add sliced sausages, cook until they become golden brown. Add butter and onions. The onions should caramelize. If you have brown bits, just pick them up. Add garlic and cabbage. Every piece should be evenly coated with melted butter. Simmer the mixture for 9 minutes. Add noodles and peas. Combine everything in a pan and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Test the peas, they should be very soft. Add salt and pepper to taste, serve hot.