Italian Cabbage and Rice
Oct 06, 2013, Updated Oct 17, 2017
This Italian Cabbage and Rice is truly a “peasant dish”; my Nonna in Italy made it often, probably because it stretched ingredients to help feed her very large family.
However, to tell you the truth, I’d rather have this warm, comforting and tasty meal, than some fancy haute cusine, any day of the week!
If you are just beginning your “unprocessed journey” and are finding it challenging, you’re doing something right! It isn’t easy in the beginning, but soon you’ll realize that there are so many better options and alternatives to the processed ingredients you have been using, you’ll kick yourself for having used them for so long (I know I have). I am constantly “weeding out” ingredients which I’ve been using mostly out of habit, and replacing them with homemade or unprocessed versions.
Recipes like my Nonna’s Italian Cabbage and Rice are a step in the right direction on the road to enjoying unprocessed meals everyday. It is simple, yet empowering. It is inexpensive, yet delicious, but most of all, it’s healthy!
Going “unprocessed” is truly a journey, and as with any journey, it takes time, so have patience and enjoy the ride!
Italian Cabbage and Rice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 or 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3/4 cup tomato purée, or fresh tomatoes, pureed in a blender
- 4 to 5 cups water
- 1 medium Savoy cabbage
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, more or less to your preference; you can always add more later
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 to 1 cup arborio rice, or any other rice
- grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, to serve, optional
- 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 purée 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. Use 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.
- Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano) cheese!