On my last shopping I made by our trusted Italian supplier “Vita”, I’ve surprisingly received the biggest savoy cabbage I’ve ever seen. Inspired by its wide leaves I’ve decided to experiment something new, namely making a cabbage wrap. The problem came up with the fillings, as I fancied to do something different than usual to enhance at its best this recipe, so I came up with something never done before, creating a new recipe it will delight you.

INGREDIENTS

For 6 people

  • 500g Dried Chickpeas
  • 70g Cured Italian Lard
  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 6 Savoy Cabbage Wide Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. Nduja
  • Parsley a Handful
  • 125ml of White Wine

For the filling

  • 30g Butter
  • 30g White Flour
  • 300ml Milk
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. Nduja (if you don’t like the spicy taste, reduce the amount of Nduja to the half)
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

METHOD

The day before Soak the chickpeas in a bowl with cold water and leave it aside.

  1. Boil the cabbage leaves in salty water, drain and let them dribble in a pasta drainer while you do the rest. Keep the water on this as you will need it for later.
  2. Make a soffrito in a large saucepan using onion, carrot, celery and garlic all finely chopped and once it’s soft, add the lard thinly sliced previously. Let the lard to melt.
  3. As soon as the lard will have a clear color, simmer with white wine until reduced, then join the chickpeas with nduja, salt and cover them using the water used for boil the cabbage leaves. Give it a good stir a bit at a time (the cooking time can be different as it depends from few factor such as the time the chickpeas have left to soak, or from how much water they have absorbed etc..; indicatively I say they are ready when soft). Leave it to cook on a low heat with a lid on adding the “cabbage water” every time it’s needed until it’ll be fully cooked.

Bear in mind you want to have a quite dry result, in the end, hence if there is any water left from the boiling, keep it for the next process.

 

Making the Nduja béchamel fillings

  1. Melt the butter in a poacher or little pot then add the flour and mix for a couple of minutes with a wooden spoon.
  2. A little at a time pour the milk into the pot and start whisking. When all the milk will be embedded, incorporate also salt and nutmeg.
  3. Keep stirring on a medium heat for another couple of minute, include the nduja, blend well and leave it to cool down.

Assembling

Top left: cooked and crushed cheek peas Top right: extra cabbage for filling (discretionary) Bottom left: nduja bechamel Bottom right: boiled and drained cabbage leaves
  1. First thing first, you need to crush the chickpeas (Tip: I’ve used a muddler which is perfect in this situation, but you can use whatever suits you more), adding, if required, a bit of the remaining water (see step 3 on the method section). The compound you are looking for is a solid coarse puree. Mix up the mush with finely chopped parsley.
  2. Lay on a table a square of cling film with a cabbage leaf on it. Grab a handful of chickpeas mix and place in the middle a tsp of Nduja béchamel. Helping yourself with the other hand, make a ball and lay it down onto the leaf and close it. Seal it with the cling film and let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Repeat the last step for all the leaves you have

.

 

Cooking

  1. Pre-heat the sunflower oil in a large heavy-based pan at 180C and the oven at 250C
  2. Put in 3 different containers white plain flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs.
  3. Follow this path: Pass on the wrap first in the flour, then beaten eggs, breadcrumbs and once again beaten eggs and breadcrumbs (twice dipped).
  4. Fry the wraps and once get browned, dispose them on a tray to put into the oven for 5 minutes.

Let cool down a bit and enjoy your meal!!!

Fun Fact

  • Ground chickpeas have been used as a coffee substitute since the 18th century and are still commonly used as a caffeine-free alternative today. Widely available, the taste is said to be delicious. Why not give it a go!?!
  • Chickpeas are a great source of both soluble and dietary fiber, important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Soluble fiber may assist with reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream and helps maintain blood sugar levels, which may help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and also aid in managing diabetes. The dietary fiber in chickpeas and their low glycemic index (GI) may also assist with weight loss by making you feel fuller for longer.

Home Page