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Savory Cabbage Cake

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February 11, 2016 / Italian / By
Anna

 

The garden and eating, these are the primary focus of life in my version of Italy.

Of course that is setting family aside. But what do you grow vegetables for if not to cook and eat with the family.  Luckily, all members of the family are equally interested in eating if not gardening. In fact, my daughter told me recently that she just did not see where the joy was in gardening. (At moments like these, if it weren't for her startling resemblance to The Tall Guy's mother, I'd almost wonder if she hadn't been swapped for my real daughter at birth.) But she enjoys what gardening produces.

Using a new cookbook I got for Christmas, Five Quarters by Rachel Roddy, I made this delicious, savory cabbage cake with a Savoy cabbage from the garden. It has been a struggle to produce good cabbages, the slugs, snails and caterpillars have had the best of them in the past, but this year was our turn.

It is easy to make, looks good and depending on the quality of the sausage used, tastes extraordinary.

Cabbage Cake

Savoy cabbage

500 grams of sausages or loose sausage meat

Fennel seeds

50 grams of butter

50 mils olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

First peel off the large outer leaves, 5-7 of the best of them. These are blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes then set aside to drain. Meanwhile, cut the rest of the cabbage into quarters, remove the central stem and blanch this part for 2 minutes, drain. Toss in the olive oil and add the fennel and seasoning. If using Umbrian sausages, salt lightly. They may not add salt to their bread, but it ends up in all the other savory foods.

Take a 20cm round ovenproof pan; smear it with half the butter. Lay the biggest of the whole blanched leaves in the middle of the pan and lay the rest around the edges in such a way that the leaves are touching in the middle but flopping over the sides. This excess will be used to fold over the filling and seal it in.

Now remove the sausage meat from the skins and press half of it into the pan covering the cabbage leaves, top it with a third of the cabbage and fennel mix and repeat this twice more ending with a third layer of cabbage. Fold the excess cabbage leaves over the top of the mix and it is ready.

Cook in the oven for one hour at 180-200C. It will look lovely like this and can be cut and served, or you can up-end the pan onto a serving dish to reveal the beautiful leaf on the bottom.

It serves 4-6 and goes well with roast or mashed potatoes in the winter. It is also just as good cold the next day.

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Country: Italy

Province/State: Umbria

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