There are many variations of stuffed cabbage in Italy; this one uses mortadella instead of bread in the stuffing. Cavoli ripieni is a typical winter dish, prepared when the cold weather ensures that the cabbage leaves are tender.
This recipe for cavoli ripieni is from the book, Piatti Chiari, by Tiziana Falorni, the owner of the restaurant Alla Piazza di Sopra in Filleto, and is the fourth in our series of recipes. If you’d like a copy of the recipe book, it is available directly from the restaurant and in bookshops in Lunigiana. You can also buy it online at Amazon.it and other online booksellers in Italy.
My thanks to Laura Razzoli, Tiziana’s daughter, for the photos and explanations.
Ingredients1 Savoy cabbage 200g of mortadella 2 eggs 150g grated Parmesan a sprig of parsley a bunch of Swiss card or 700g of spinach one garlic clove 700g passata/chopped tomatoes in tomato juice olive oil, salt and chilli peppers
- Discard the outside cabbage leaves and any with particularly thick veins. Blanch the remaining leaves in a large pot of salted, boiling water for three minutes. Drain and dry
- In a separate pot, boil the chard or spinach for a few minutes, drain and chop
- Chop the parsley, garlic and mortadella and mix together in a bowl. Add the parmesan, eggs, and chard or spinach
- Add salt and freshly chopped chillies to taste
- To assemble the cabbage parcels, place a small amount of filling in the centre of each cabbage leaf, fold in the sides and roll up to form a small parcel
- Generously oil a baking dish with the olive oil, place the parcels in the dish and cover with two tablespoons per parcel of your favourite sauce
- Bake for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade.
Open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.