An unexpected combination of flavors comes together to create Lazanki, a dish that could be called an incredibly flavorful and comforting Polish stroganoff.
What happens when 16th century Poland gets an Italian queen?
High Italian cuisine starts to trickle into Polish culture, giving us interesting, but quite tasty, fusion dishes, like lazanki.
What is Lazanki?
At its most basic lazanki combines pasta from Italian cuisine with a classic Polish cabbage preparation.
Cabbage, sauerkraut, mushrooms, and herbs come together to make a uniquely Polish pasta topping.
Does the combo sound a bit odd to you? It did to us too.
Making Polish Cabbage and Noodles
Honestly, as we read lists of ingredients and tried to gather what was the most authentic way to make lazanki, I was skeptical of how the ingredients would work together.
But, it sounded like an easy dinner recipe, so we decided to take the plunge.
Even until the last step, when I tasted the cabbage mixture, I still couldn’t put it all together in my head. I think it’s because, as Americans, we’re not used to the vinegar tang of sauerkraut and the earthiness of mushrooms paired together.
But, as I mixed in the sour cream at the final step, creating a creamy sauce that mellowed the sauerkraut tang, the dish’s flavors finally came together into something vaguely reminiscent of a stroganoff.
It is definitely different, but it was one of those dishes that grew on us as we ate, and by the end, we were wishing we had made more, so we could eat it for leftovers the next day.
Honestly, if you like stroganoff, take a step out of our your comfort zone and give lazanki a try. You might just find a new favorite!
Our Lazanki Recipe
Traditionally, lazanki is prepared with flat rectangular shaped noodles, but we decided to give it a bit more texture with some rotini. The pasta is then tossed with a mixture of cabbage and mushrooms.
While we opted to stick with the vegetarian version, ground meat can be added here too.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 c cabbage, sliced into 2” strips
- 1 c sauerkraut, drained
- 1 (4oz) can mushrooms, drained
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- ¼ c water
- 1 large bay leaf
- ½ tsp thyme
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp paprika
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ¾ tsp salt
- 6 oz dry, small noodles (egg noodles are closest to traditional)
- ¼ c light sour cream
- In a large, cast iron or non-stick skillet, heat onions with 2 Tbsp water over medium-low heat. Cover and cook 30 minutes until dark brown and caramelized, checking frequently and adding water if necessary to prevent burning.
- Add remaining ingredients except noodles and sour cream. Simmer over low heat for 20-30 min, until cabbage is tender.
- Bring some water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add noodles and cook 7-9 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Remove the cabbage mixture from the heat. Add sour cream and mix thoroughly. Add drained noodles and toss until well mixed.
- Top with a sprinkling of parsley.