Russian Penne

When I made this recipe this week, I wouldn’t tell anyone what was in it until they tried it.  Then I shared.  Knowing that the combination of ingredients don’t sound good unless you are a desperate vegetarian or have a bumper cabbage crop.  Turns out, the combination hits you just right when you want a cosy pasta dish filled with gooey cheese and healthy veggies.

This is a recipe that harks back to a time when Jon and I were vegetarians and ate more cheese than two people should ever consume in one year.  We wanted to see if we felt healthier by a change our eating habits.  And while it’s true, we did eat more vegetables, we also ate a ri-di-cu-lous amount of cheese.  No surprise that we didn’t feel much different at the end of our vegetarian year.  The reason for so much cheese? – we were looking for the big boosts of flavor that meat can bring to food and cheese was the solution for us.  Of course now, there are all sorts of great vegetarian cookbooks that would help us build flavor in our food without adding so much dairy.   Turns out we couldn’t wait that long and only lasted a year before we succumbed to burgers and bacon.  Molly Katzen’s cookbook, Moosewood Cookbook, was one of the few highlights of that year and I still use the dog eared, grease-stained copy.

Russian Penne
Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen

1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup grated cheddar
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 diced scallions
1 diceded green pepper
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms
1 shredded carrot
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 cups uncooked penne
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
several grinds of fresh black pepper

Cook the penne in salted boiling water until just underdone.  Drain and reserve.  Over medium-high heat, melt the butter and saute the cabbage, green pepper, mushroom and carrot.  Combine everything in the pasta pot or large bowl.

Bake in a buttered 9×13 pan, covered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Serves 6-8

Annie
I dare you to try it!

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