Pasta, Veggies

Bigoli de Bassan with Anchovies and Savoy Cabbage Cream

bigoli 1

It’s always a pleasure to buy veggies from a boat. Every Friday night I wait for the boat that comes from Saint Erasmus island. I wait at a bacaro – a traditional Venetian bar -, sipping a glass of wine, chatting with friends, enjoying the beginning of the weekend.

You don’t know which vegetables you’ll find in your bag. You just wait for the arrival of the little boat, which bravely crosses the lagoon at night, full of wonderful organic veggies. Of course, not knowing what to expect makes the whole thing even more special!

When I made shopping for veggies last Friday, I found a beautiful Savoy cabbage in my bag. I’m serious when I say that Savoy cabbage is just perfect with Bigoli de Bassan and anchovies. It’s a true love affair.

You don’t know what Bigoli de Bassan is, right? Don’t feel ashamed. It’s quite normal to ignore its existence in the enormous variety of Italian pasta. Nevertheless, it’s never too late to start filling this gap!

Bigoli de Bassan is the typical pasta of Bassano del Grappa, a beautiful village near Venice. It’s quite similar to spaghetti, but thicker, and it’s made with a special press called bigolaro. Durum wheat semolina, water and nothing more. These simple ingredients contain all the culinary traditions of the Venetian region.

Savoy cabbage and anchovies will do the rest. The salty presence of the lagoon finds a perfect balance with the sweetness of the veggies grown on Saint Erasmus island. Still tender and light green.

I love this dish. It feels like home.

Bigoli de Bassan with Anchovies and Savoy Cabbage Cream (4 servings)

400 gr. Bigoli de Bassan

7-8 anchovies in oil

2 cloves of garlic

40 gr. breadcrumbs

400 gr. Savoy cabbage

2 shallots

150 ml of whole milk

extra virgin olive oil

black pepper

sea salt



Bring a huge pot full of water to a boil and salt it. In the meantime, thinly cut the Savoy cabbage and the shallots. Brown them in a large pan with 2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil, then add salt and black pepper. Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes, or until they become tender.

Blend the Savoy cabbage and the shallots while adding some warm milk. You should obtain a creamy texture, not too liquid. Taste the Savoy cabbage cream and add more salt or pepper if needed.

Start cooking the pasta. Meanwhile, take a large pan, add 2 tbs of oil, the garlic and the anchovies. They should melt into the oil. Add more oil if you need it. In a small pan, toast the breadcrumbs for 3-4 minutes.

After 10 minutes, drain the pasta and add it to the anchovies sauce. Add some cooking water and keep stirring the pasta while it ends its cooking time absorbing the sauce. When it’s still al dente, add the breadcrumbs.

To serve it, pour some Savoy cabbage cream on the bottom of the plate, then create a nice nest of Bigoli on top of it. A few drops of oil, some black pepper, and you’re ready to serve it!

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