those already on the site:That's Savoy Cabbage, and its beautiful bubbly green heads are beginning to appear in Italian markets. It's one of the most classic Italian winter vegetables, especially in the north, though you will also encounter it in the South. Some new ideas, to join
- Minestra Di Verza e Cotenne
This is a frankly frugal Piemontese recipe, of the sort that even a poor family would have been able to afford in the past. We're better off now, but pig skins still do have a rather libidinous satiny texture that makes for a fine soup.
Italy has a great many bean soups, most of which are rather creamy in texture. Minestra di Fagioli, or pasta fazool comes to mind. This bean and cabbage soup from the Veneto is instead liquid, and gains added body from slices of toasted bread. In short, simple, frugal winter fare of the kind once enjoyed by those who couldn't afford meat. No less good for that, and now a fine option for those who are cutting back on meat consumption.
- Minestrone di Cavolo Verza
Minestrone is more a universe than a recipe, with variations to suit every possible taste. This savoy cabbage minestrone is Campanian, and a welcome change of pace during the colder winter months of the cabbage season. It is very much simple peasant food.
- Risi E Verze Alla Veneziana
The Venetians introduced rice, which they got from the Arabs, to northern Italy, and developed a number of dishes that combine rice with other ingredients; the best known is Risi e Bisi, Rice & Peas, which was only prepared when the Doge (Venice's ruler) allowed. Risi e Verze, Rice & Savoy Cabbage, is a bit more plebian, and simple winter fare.
- Fettuccine di Castagne Con Verze e Costine
This is a winter recipe for fettuccine with Savoy cabbage and spare ribs from the Val D'Aosta, and will be a rather nice one-course meal. If you cannot find chestnut flour with which to make the pasta, regular store-bought fettuccine will also work, as would whole-wheat pasta.
- Verza Con Noci e Cipolle
Savoy cabbage is a wonderfully versatile vegetable, and works beautifully with onions and walnuts in this Piemontese vegetarian entree.
- Involtini di Verza All'Anatra
Rollups, or involtini, are usually meat-based, with vegetable filling. This Piemontese recipe instead has one use cabbage leaves as the base, and roll them up around bits of boned duck.