04 Jun Smothered Cabbage, Venetian Style

Recipes, Substantial

Smothered Cabbage, Venetian Style

4 June 2021

PREP. TIME: 15 min - Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours -   Serves: 6

I prefer the loose leaves of Savoy cabbage for this dish but most varieties of pale green cabbage will work.  Shred the cabbage finely and cook slowly in the vapours that escape the cabbage, olive oil and vinegar.  The Venetian word for this style of cooking is sofegato, which means smothered.

Combine smothered cabbage with a well flavoured meat broth and risotto rice  for deliciously, hearty Rice and Smothered Cabbage Soup.

Recipe Template


900g common green or Savoy cabbage

50 g onion

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon wine vinegar.


Chopping board and kitchen knife

Measuring spoons


Large heavy based saute pan with a fitted lid



Step 1 Prep

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic

Detach and discard the outer, coarse leaves of the cabbage.

Section the remaining cabbage into 2 or 4 pieces depending upon the size.

Remove the core and discard.

Shred the leaves of each section finely with a large, sharp kitchen knife.

Place the leaves in a colander and rinse well in cold running water.

Step 2 Cook

Put the onion and oil into a large saute pan over moderate heat, add a teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring until the onion becomes coloured a deep gold, then add the garlic.

When the garlic begins to colour - add the shredded cabbage, a handful at a time.  
Turn the cabbage over 2 or 3 times to coat it well and cook it until it is wilted.

Season with salt and pepper and add the vinegar.

Turn the cabbage over once. 

Reduce the heat to minimum.  Cover the pan tightly with a lid.

Cook for at least 1 1/2 hours, or until the cabbage is tender, turning with tongs, from time to time.

If while cooking the liquid becomes diminished, add 2 tablespoons water as needed.

Step 3 To Serve

When done, taste and season with salt and pepper.

Allow to settle for a few minutes off the heat before serving.


Recipe adapted by Elizabeth Peddey  from The Essentials of Italian Cooking, p.509 by Marcella Hazan

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