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Winter Leftovers Pasta

by Marie Mitchell

This ingenious pasta dish from Marie Mitchell is perfect for using up any leftover red cabbage over the festive season and beyond.


This pasta dish was born out of using what you have and not trying to acquire anything new in lockdown. I had some leftover braised red cabbages that I had made for Christmas, with beetroot, apple, apple cider vinegar, ginger and star anise. I know, it sounds odd but come on this journey with me. The paprika in this dish lifts and marries, the pancetta brings the saltiness to cut through. It was one of my most enjoyable lockdown experiments that managed to seep through into ‘real life’. Come on the journey with me but if you’re not sure, just make sure you make a little extra braised cabbage at Christmas, freeze it and journey with me then. It feels simple, yet indulgent and we all need a little of that now and again.


Marie Mitchell is the author of Kin: Caribbean Recipes for the Modern Kitchen, a collection of fresh, modern, and thoroughly enticing recipes from the Caribbean, which will be published in June 2024.

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150g conchiglioni or rigatoni
1 packet of non smoked pancetta, approximately 100g
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
½ pack of mushrooms, sliced - I used chestnut
Around 200g leftover braised red cabbage
1 tsp hot or smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
Parmesan, to serve


Heat a wide bottom pan, with a lid, on a medium high heat.

Once the pan is hot, add your pancetta. Fry for around 5 minutes, drain and set aside, while leaving the oil from the pancetta in the pan.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil and turn the pan down to a medium heat. Fry the onion until softened and starting to colour nicely, approx 5-10 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and stir well, cook for 5 minutes with the lid on.

Add the cabbage and the bacon back into the pan, with 1 tsp of hot paprika.

Add salt and pepper to taste and pop the lid back on, simmer for 5-10 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally so the pan doesn’t catch.

Prep your pasta of choice, according to instructions, making sure to reserve ½ cup of water before draining.

Add the pasta water to the sauce and cook on a high heat for 2-3 minutes, your sauce should thicken and this allows your sauce to stick to the pasta nicely.

Add your pasta to the cabbage and mushrooms mix once thickened.

Serve with parmesan shavings.


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