Cabbage and Savoy cabbage have been with us all winter and have given us an incredible variety of preparations. One of our favourite recipes is Rice cabbage rolls au gratin and it is for several reasons.

First, we like the name in Italian, “Valigini” meaning small suitcases, trolleys, because a small suitcase always contains something we take with us on a trip and maybe even a gift from a faraway place when we return… it gives us a foretaste of surprise. Then, we like it because it is an explosion of colours in a season that is not very lively.

Moreover, it is a delicacy that can be easily served as a one-course meal, both for its satiating power and for its nutritional composition: carbohydrates, vitamins and proteins. And finally, for the delicate but, at the same time, full and rich flavour of those surprises kept in our little suitcases: the sweetness of the raisins enhanced by the unmistakable savouriness of the pecorino cheese, the crunchiness of the cashews and the tenderness of the soft green cabbage that envelops them.

In short, a preparation that makes adults happy and makes kids forget that they are eating the often ‘hated’ vegetables.

Rice cabbage rolls au gratin

13.74g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 800g cabbage cooking water
  • 370g green cabbage (the 6 largest outer leaves)
  • 150g purple cabbage
  • 200g Carnaroli rice
  • 50g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 50g raisins
  • 40g red wine
  • 30g cashews or Brazil nuts
  • 30g Pecorino cheese, grated
  • 25g extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g spring onion
  • 10g butter
  • salt and pepper


  1. Take 6 large leaves of green cabbage. Wash them and blanch them in boiling salted water for a few minutes; drain and throw them in cold water. Wait a few moments, drain them well on paper towels and keep the hot cooking water as vegetable stock.
  2. Put a little oil in a pan, soften the thinly chopped spring onion, then add the thinly sliced purple cabbage in small pieces; after lightly browning, add a drop of water and cook the cabbage almost through, allowing the liquid to evaporate.
La preparazione del riso

Rice preparation

  1. Throw the rice in the pan with the cabbage and toast it well. Pour red wine and allow to evaporate, when the smell of alcohol has disappeared, start stirring the rice using the cooking water from the outer leaves. Add the soaked raisins and lightly chopped cashews and continue to roll the rice.
Il riso pronto per la mantecatura

The rice ready for the stir-frying

  1. When the rice is almost cooked, but still rather al dente, cream it with butter and Parmesan cheese; let it cool and spread it out on a rather large plate so that the rice does not brown: in this way, the risotto should be cooked to perfection after gratin.
  2. Take the blanched leaves and cut them in half, removing the harder, thicker central rib. Place a heaped spoonful of risotto on each half and roll the cabbage forming a cylinder.
La preparazione degli involtini

Preparing the rolls

Gli involtini prima della gratinatura

The rolls before baking au gratin

  1. Place the rolls in an oven dish, sprinkle with grated pecorino cheese and drizzle a little oil on the surface.


  1. Grate under the oven grill at 220°C for about 10 minutes until the pecorino is lightly browned.
Gli involtini pronti per essere gustati

The rolls ready to be enjoyed

This recipe participates in the Contest “Rice Food Blogger 2017 – Chef Giuseppina Carboni

Risultati immagini per risate e risotti Risultati immagini per chefacademy Risultati immagini per chef&maitre Risultati immagini per aifb

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