My grandmother used to make this in Italy. It’s a simple, peasant-type meal, but this is the sort of food I love. It was probably a meal which made the ingredients stretch further, however, it’s a really healthy meal, and tasty too, so it’s a winner all around!
The other great thing about this recipe is that it is a great dish to try for those who want to learn to cook, but have absolutely no confidence in the kitchen, because there’s really no way to mess this up. Make it more soupy (add more water) for wintertime, or more dry for the hot summer weather. There’s no right or wrong amount of vegetables, and as long as the rice is cooked, the length of cooking time can vary greatly too, and will not affect the final outcome in a significant way; it’s a very forgiving meal!
Italian Cabbage and Rice
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- one medium onion, diced
- 1 or 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3/4 cup tomato puree (or fresh tomatoes, pureed in a blender)
- 4 to 5 cups of water
- one medium sized Savoy cabbage
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 to 1 cup Arborio rice (or any other rice)
- Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (to serve)
Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot, over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and celery when hot. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, until onion starts to become opaque.
Remove the core from the cabbage (I eat this part, it’s very yummy and good for you too!) and chop into thin strips.
Meanwhile, add the tomato puree to the celery and onion and cook for about 5 minutes.
Next, add the water (you can always add more later) and salt; then add the cabbage.
Stir often, and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, still continuing to stir occasionally.
Then add the rice, less for a more soupy dish, more for a drier result.
Stir well, and continue to simmer for 30-40 minutes, until rice is cooked. I used about 5 cups of water and 3/4 cup rice.
Make sure to serve with plenty of grated Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano) cheese!
This is a perfect crock pot meal too. Just sauté the veggies, then transfer to the crock pot, adding the rest of the ingredients. Let cook all day. Easy-peasy!!
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