Savoy Cabbage with Pancetta and Chestnuts

From Matthew Altizer

2012 Nov/Dec

This dish makes a festive side to almost any holiday meal. Vacuum-sealed chestnuts are already cooked, have a subtly sweet flavour and have a beautiful velvety texture. The saltiness of the pancetta offsets the sweetness of the chestnuts perfectly.


  • 1 head savoy cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1/2 c. diced pancetta
  • 2 t. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 t. ground allspice
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 c. cooked chestnuts (vacuum packed are best, available in Italian markets and specialty food stores)
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • 1 T. crème fraîche


Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, season well with salt and blanch the cabbage for 2 minutes, drain well and set aside. In a large sauté pan, cook the pancetta over medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes, or until crisp. Add the shallot, allspice, cumin and season with salt and pepper, keeping in mind the saltiness of the pancetta. Gently crumble half of the chestnuts into the pan, then add the chicken stock and reduce by half. Add the cabbage to the pan along with the other half of the chestnuts, crumbled, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche, check for seasoning and serve. Serves 4.