Noodles with cabbage – made in a somewhat different way
Fried cabbage with noodles is an old dish of the Hungarian cuisine, which often appears on the households’ dining table. The authentic version of káposztás tészta (this is how it’s called in Hungarian) consists of two main ingredients: square shaped noodles boiled in a large pot of salty water and grated cabbage caramelized and fried. It may sound strange, but some eat this dish sweet, sprinkling the top with sugar.
In my family we have broken with tradition and káposztás tészta is made in a different way: the fried cabbage is combined with potato dumplings, and topped with crispy bacon. Those dumplings look like nokedli, but the batter includes grated raw potatoes; it’s actually the base of the Slovak strapačky (sztrapacska). Young green cabbage is the best, but it also works with white cabbage; white cabbage needs more time to become tender.
For the batter:
- 500 g (~4 cups) flour
- 250 g (~9 oz) potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pinch of pepper
- approx. 250 ml (~1 cup) water
For the topping:
- 1 medium head of green cabbage (approx. 1,2 kg ~ 2 3/4 lb)
- 1-2 tbsp lard
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 200 g (~7 oz) bacon
Quarter and grate the cabbage, discard the hard core. Sprinkle with a half teaspoon of salt. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes, then drain and squeeze out all the water. In a large skillet heat lard, add cabbage, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and over low heat, while stirring often, cook until cabbage is tender. Once it’s done, sprinkle with pepper and give it a stir. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Chop the bacon and in a non-stick pan fry until crispy.
Peel and grate the potatoes using the small-hole shredder of a box grater. Place flour in a bowl, add grated potatoes, eggs, salt and pepper, then gradually pour in water to combine the ingredients. The batter should be thick, but still running. Push the batter through a dumpling maker into the boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then drain the dumplings.
Pour the dumplings into the fried cabbage, add bacon and stir to combine. Heat through and serve immediately with lots of freshly ground black pepper on top.