Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise and remove the tough middle bit. Roughly chop the cabbage, removing the tough bits of the leaves.
In a large shallow pan heat up the oil, add the cabbage and cook over a medium heat for about 4 minutes, taking care not to allow the cabbage to brown. Season (be generous with the pepper), cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes (or until the cabbage is tender but still a little crunchy) stirring occasionally.
10 minutes into the cooking boil the pasta in salted water with the bay leaf (optional), according to packaging instructions (5-7 minutes). Strain the pasta and immediately stir into the cabbage. Add the butter, adjust seasoning and serve immediately.
For best results I recommend using sweet, spring green cabbage or pointed cabbage.
Cabbage cooking time: The exact cooking time depends on your preference and the type of cabbage you are using. Try not to cook it for too long as it will lose its bright green colour. Take care also not to brown the cabbage as it won’t taste as sweet.
Use either Polish 'lazanki' pasta (available from Polish delicatessens) but other pasta shapes would work too so use your favourite.
Serve with fresh chives and/or dill, crispy bacon or fried, chopped Polish sausage.