Pasta Sbagliata and GIVEAWAY

So, American Express and the Tastemakers at Foodbuzz picked me – yes, me! – to participate in their Dinner@6 promotion and contest. Well, they picked me and 19 others to participate in this promotion.

Not only did they pick me, but American Express gave me a little something for my readers too! But that part will be later on – just a little tease so you keep reading to find out about the giveaway! My very first!

All I have to do is come up with a wonderful recipe that has 6 ingredients or less. A breeze, right? Yeah, a breeze like Hurricane Irene. Does 6 ingredients include things like oil in the pan? Salt and pepper? Flour for dredging? Apparently, at least according to the rules of this contest, it doesn’t include salt, pepper, oil or water. Well, phewwwwww!

Do you know how difficult it is to come up with a dish with only 6 ingredients? Okay! I got it!! One-two-three-four-five-six-seven – RATS! I did this over and over again.

And then I remembered – Pasta Sbagliata!

Pasta Sbagliata – loosely translated means Mistaken Pasta – came from my Mom and tweaked by me. My mother is an amazing cook, always has been. She has always been adventurous in the kitchen. Everything is always delicious (well, except for the lamb pie incident, which I wouldn’t have mentioned, but I can see my mother AND my sister reading this and saying to themselves, yeah, except that damn lamb pie – but I digress) .

As a cook, she has one small fault – she doesn’t always read the recipe through to the end before starting to cook. Dinner will be going along nicely and suddenly you will hear cursing mild expletives coming from the kitchen. It’s usually some major step she missed about 3/4 of the way in. My Mother is the Queen of fix-it-and-it’s-fab cooking.

And that’s how we came to this recipe. This was supposed to be a Rao’s recipe for guidance and a recipe my Uncle Nicky had made in the restaurant one day. Pasta with Sausage and Cabbage. Well, my mother misread a step big step in the Rao’s recipe where the Savoy cabbage had to be cut into strips and blanched and then cooled completely before adding to the sauce. She had decided that instead of using Savoy cabbage, she would use a bag of cole slaw mix. After she added the cabbage straight into the pan, she read the part about blanching.  After a little conversation between she and I, we thought that the cabbage this way would actually be better. There would be a texture to the pasta sauce and make it better and a quicker meal to boot! And so, Pasta Sbagliato was born.

This is probably the most requested recipe in my house – that is, when I can get anyone to actually request something besides “I don’t know”.

(Keep going, the part about the giveaway is coming, I promise ~ but the recipe is good too!)

There are 2 ways to make this recipe. Neither is difficult. One is just … hmmm … semi-homemade!

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb of Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 lb shredded cabbage
  • 3 C marinara sauce, homemade or jarred
  • 1/4 loosely packed torn basil
  • 1 lb pasta, cooked al dente

NOTE:  (1) The sausage can be sweet or hot, or a combination. You have to remove it from the casings before cooking. If you can find Italian sausage in bulk rather than link, even better! (2) This really needs a short pasta like penne or rigatoni.  The sauce is too bulky for a spaghetti or linguine. (3) You can shred the cabbage yourself or buy a 1 lb bag of cole slaw mix from the salad section in your supermarket.

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes.

NOTE: By the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce will be done.

Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add garlic. Just as garlic begins to brown add sausage, crumbling it with the back of a spoon as it cooks.

NOTE: I use a pan large enough to hold the pasta as well when it’s finished cooking, this way I can add the cooked pasta into the sauce and serve straight from there.

When the sausage is almost cooked, lower the flame, and add the cabbage.

Cook cabbage, stirring frequently until the cabbage is soft and becoming translucent.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the marinara sauce. Once sauce is heated through, turn off heat, add basil and stir.

Once pasta is cooked, drain well and add to sauce.

Toss well.


  • You can use turkey sausage. This doesn’t make it quicker, but if you are limiting red meat, turkey is a good alternative. Don’t do it for the sodium. Turkey sausage has as much sodium as pork sausage.
  • Instead of home-made marinara sauce, you can use a good quality jarred marinara or tomato and basil sauce. A 24 oz. jar is the same as the 3 cups. I don’t suggest using sauces with mushrooms or other ingredients. There is a lot going on with this sauce already!
  • Instead of shredding a head of cabbage, grab a bag of cole slaw mix in the salad aisle of your supermarket. It’s already shredded. It’s the perfect amount. It has some shredded carrots in it, but they add a little sweetness and are good for your eyes. As you can see from the photos, I went the cole slaw route – the cabbage at the supermarket looked terrible!

Whether you’re using the short cuts or using everything from scratch you can have this meal on the table in the amount of time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta (if you’re using marinara sauce that is made already, of course – for my pedantic friends)! It’s great for company or just family.

So, now, back to the Giveaway!

One of the best parts about this promotion is that American Express gave me a $100 gift card toward the ingredients for this recipe. Not too shabby, hey?

Oh, wait, it gets better! As part of the Dinner@6 contest sponsored by Blue Cash PreferredSM, American Express has also provided me with $100 gift card to give out to one lucky Commenter!  To enter is simple! Sound off in the comments to win! What is your favorite six-ingredient recipe?

How’s that for fabulous!?

You can gain an additional entry by doing one of – or all – the following and leaving a separate comment below for each that you’ve done:

  1. Follow me on Twitter – @fromBookshelf – then post here and let me know you did
  2. Tweet the following – I just entered to win a $100 American Express gift card at From the Bookshelf. You can enter too!
  3. Like me on Facebook – From the Bookshelf – then post here and let me know you did
  4. Post a link to this post on your FB page – I entered to win a $100 American Express gift card at From the Bookshelf. You can too!
  5. Subscribe to From the Bookshelf by email – Just to the right of the title for this post and just under the Twitter birdie, click the link. (You will be sent a link from feedburner. Make sure you click on the confirmation link in their email) – then post here and let me know you did

Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?  Good luck! Entries will close on September 29th at midnight EST. Winner will be announced September 30th. One favor, please make sure to leave your email address so I can find you!


Enjoy the recipe! Thanks for entering! Good luck!