This dish came from Robin Asbell's The New Whole Grain Cookbook. I consider it a vegetarian main dish. In the notes, I have the tips to make it vegan.
1 tablespoon butter (use vegan butter)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
14 ounces savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (6 cups)
4 ounces thin French beans or green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch slices
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 8-ounce package soba noodles
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper
6 ounces aged fontina cheese, shredded (skip for vegan)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large saute pan and cook the cabbage and French beans over medium heat. (French beans will cook more quickly than green beans.) When tender and golden , about 5 minutes, add the garlic and sage, and cook for a few more minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat.
- Cook the soba in the boiling water according to the package directions, drain, then mix with the cabbage in the pan, adding the salt and pepper to taste.
- Lightly oil a shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish, and put half of the noodle mixture in the bottom. Top with half of the cheese, then the remaining noodles, and finally the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until melted and golden.
- For vegan option, use vegan butter and skip the cheese. (Or if you know of a good vegan Fontina-like cheese, use that.)
- You can also make this a day ahead, refrigerate, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serves 6.
- A whole wheat spaghetti could also be used if you can't find soba. If you want to be true to the Italian tradition, use a homemade buckwheat pasta and roll it out by hand.
- Ryan made the suggestion to add chicken to the casserole to make it "feel more complete" for the omnivores in the family.