Stuffed Savoy Cabbage Bundles


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This recipe from Friuli-Venezia Giulia has a dialect name that means ‘escaped birds’, as the swollen cabbage leaves are supposed to look like little birds hiding away from hunters’ guns. You’ll need only the green leaves from the cabbage, some of which will be large enough to cut in half, or even into quarters, once you have blanched them all. This makes a satisfying winter dish, and needs only a warm potato salad and some good red wine to make it into a delicious supper.


  • 1 large Savoy cabbage
  • 300 g/11 oz/scant cups lean minced/ground pork
  • 300 g/11 oz/scant cups lean minced/ground beef
  • 50 g/2 oz parsley, leaves chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 slices brown bread, cut into very small cubes
  • 3 slices salami, cut into small squares
  • 90 ml/6 tbsp vegetable oil or 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 300 ml/½ pint/ cups meat stock
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Select 12 of the unblemished outer leaves of the cabbage with care, blanch them for 1 minute in salted boiling water, then arrange them flat on a work surface, ready to fill. Set aside while you make the filling.

  2. Mix together the minced pork and beef, parsley, garlic, hard-boiled eggs, bread and salami in a small bowl. Divide the mixture among the cabbage leaves - there should be about 15 ml/1 tbsp of filling in each.

  3. Roll up each cabbage leaf around the filling, carefully seal closed with two cocktail sticks or toothpicks and set aside.

  4. Heat the vegetable oil or butter in a wide shallow pan and fry the sliced onion for 5-8 minutes over a medium-high heat, until well browned.
  5. Remove the onion from the pan and set aside. Put the cabbage rolls, in a single layer, into the pan in which you cooked the onion. Cover with half the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

  6. Add the remaining stock to the pan and cook for a further 15 minutes.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a separate pan and fry the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese until crisp.
  8. Arrange all the rambasici on a warmed platter, sprinkle them with the fried breadcrumb mixture and serve immediately.


You can omit the fried breadcrumbs, if you prefer, and instead lightly coat the finished cabbage rolls with a little tomato sauce for a healthier take on this dish.