The potato makes the sauce creamy without the addition of dairy.
1/2 lb cabbage
2 quarts water
1 – 2 T salt
1 large (yellow) potato, (peeled) and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 c dried penne
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 T olive oil
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Rinse the cabbage well, drain, and remove the stems and thick veins from the leaves. Core and cut into thin strips. You want to have about 3 cups of shredded cabbage.
2. Heat 2 quarts of water to boiling in a large pot and add the salt. Add cabbage and cook for 3 minutes. Add the potato and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the penne and cook for an additional 6 minutes. The penne will be very al dente–it will finish cooking later in the recipe.
3. While the pasta cooks, sauté the garlic in 1 T of the olive oil in an extra-large skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until it sizzles (do not let burn). Set aside.
4. Reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta mixture. Place the mixture in the skillet with the garlic. Add 1 cup cooking water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and smashing some of the potatoes into the liquid, adding more cooking water if the pasta gets stiff or dries out, until the pasta is cooked and is surrounded by a creamy sauce.
5. Serve in bowls with pepper to taste, drizzled with the remaining olive oil.