This is a classic from Trentino, the beautiful mountainous region in Italy where Amelia’s family is from. This dish is soul-satisfying comfort food, based on pantry staples such as cheese, potatoes, and pasta. The cheese choice is entirely yours. We love using fontina, but Taleggio, Brie, buffalo mozzarella, or any stretchy, ooey gooey cheese is great, too. —Jonathon Sawyer
Yields 4 servings
- ½ cup (112 g) salted butter
- ½ tsp toasted caraway seeds, cracked
- ½ tsp poppy seeds, cracked
- 3 or 4 sprigs of sage
- 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 lb (454 g) large, flat buckwheat noodles or whole wheat noodles
- ½ head napa cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup (110 g) grated fontina cheese, divided
- 1 cup (100 g) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 cup (115 g) toasted bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp (8 g) chopped parsley
- Medium saucepan
- Large saucepan
- Large bowl
- 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish or oven-safe pan
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC, or gas mark 4).
2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the caraway seeds, poppy seeds, and sage. Sauté until the butter is nut brown, 15 to 20 seconds.
3. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 7 minutes. Remove the potatoes. Add the noodles and cook until barely softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the noodles. Add the cabbage and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the cabbage.
4. In the large bowl, combine the still-warm potatoes, noodles, and cabbage with the butter mixture and all but 2 tablespoons (12 g) each of the Parmesan and fontina cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer the noodle mixture to a large baking dish, (greased with oil of choice) add the vegetable broth, and top with the remaining 2 tablespoons (12 g) each Parmesan and fontina cheeses and the bread crumbs. Bake until golden brown and delicious, about 35 minutes. Garnish with the chopped parsley.
Read our Q&A with Jonathon Sawyer, who won this year’s prestigious James Beard award.