I grew up in Pittsburgh, a city that loves it's old ethnic neighborhoods. I am always thrilled at how proud this city is about the people that made it. When I was a kid, my mother would take me to the annual Pittsburgh Folk Festival where each country's booth was well represented with food, crafts and dance. I loved it, and now that I am in a less ethnic part of the state, I realize that I miss this unique aspect of my hometown the most. I have never felt like I belonged where I currently live, and maybe this is why my heart tugs back to the "burgh."
Haluski is sturdy frugal fare from Poland, and it's well known in western Pennsylvania where immigrants from Poland came to work for a better life in the steel mills and factories in the 1840s. This dish was perfect for very hard working people, but those of us who sit at a desk all day should enjoy this meal as a special treat. This recipe makes an overflowing five-quart pot for me, so it would be great to take to a gathering. It's not the prettiest of plates, but damn it's good!
3 8-ounce bags of extra wide egg noodles
1 head green cabbage
1 large sweet onion, sliced thinly
1 12-ounce package of uncooked bacon, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
white pepper to taste - about 1/2 teaspoon
Parmesan cheese, grated
Boil noodles until tender al dente and drain. Remove the core from the cabbage and cut into quarters. Boil cabbage in a pot of water for about 15 minutes, until the cabbage is tender. Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool, slice into thin shreds. Saute bacon pieces in a large pot until cooked - not crispy. Remove the bacon pieces so they don't overcook and leave the bacon grease in the pot. Saute the onion slices in the bacon grease until translucent. Melt the butter and add the garlic, sauteing for one minute. Toss the noodles, cabbage, bacon back into the pot and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a generous tablespoon of Parmesan on top.
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