Last week mom made a classic dish, Monesta or savoy cabbage and pork. I have seen many variations of this recipe. Some recipes use escarole instead of cabbage and some add white beans as well, which I think would be delicious, but I wanted to share my mom's recipe for Monesta.
2 heads Savoy cabbage, cut into quarters and blanched in salted water
2 lbs pork pieces, boneless or with the bone
2 pepperoni links, cut into 2 inch rounds
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch red pepper flake
salt and pepper
When the Savoy cabbage is blanched, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid, then strain and set aside. In a heavy bottomed pan, go once around the pan with olive oil and preheat it. Sear the pork pieces and then the pepperoni. When completely seared, set aside in a dish. Go once around the pan again with oil, now adding the garlic, rosemary and red pepper flake. Let this season the oil. Add the cabbage and 1/4 cup of the reserved water. Stir cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Add the meat back into to the pot and add 1/4 cup more of the reserved water. Cover and let cook about thirty minutes. Taste the cabbage and adjust seasonings accordingly. Let cook fifteen more minutes. Serve with some crusty bread or how mom serves it, with a simple black pepper and rosemary flatbread. Enjoy!