“Capunet” Cabbage Rolls Recipe

LANGHetnico Caterer & Home Cooking School

This traditional cabbage roll recipe definitely makes me feel like I am in the Northern part of Italy with its cabbage and meat ingredients! My mother-in-law often makes this dish in the winter with a vegetarian ricotta filling alternative for me. It is a classic Italian “don’t waste anything” recipe made from meat leftovers.

For this recipe will follow our local cooking class instructor’s guidelines about how to make classic capunet. Fernanda, originally from Barbaresco, has been passionate about cooking her whole life and has a special interest for finding the highest quality ingredients. She loves inviting people into her home to learn the traditional Piemontese recipes and teach people about their origins. I always learn something new when I visit her!

Fontanabianca Barbaresco Bordini ’16

The recipe holds true to the simplicity of Piedmontese Italian traditional recipes. It is creamy and rich, with an intense meaty flavor of the reduced veal stock used as a sauce for the risotto. Looks like reduced bone broths are the theme of the month! I picture eating this in the winter time, warming the body and soul with a big tulip glass full of an aged Barolo. Although 2014 Barolos can be often light and dainty because of the cool vintage, the Barolo Brunate from one of the smallest producers in the Langhe, Claudio Boggione, is unique for its dark and earthy flavors, reminiscent of leaves on the forest floor. Brunate vineyard cru is known for being one of the greatest growing spots for Nebbiolo giving wines of great austerity with ethereal characteristics, spice, tobacco and balsamic notes. Who’s ready for winter dishes and wine now!?

“CAPUNET” CABBAGE ROLLS RECIPE – Ingredients for 2 people

  • 6 Large cabbage leaves
  • 150 g ground veal or beef
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Sprig of Rosemary
  • 50g boiled white rice
  • 50g boiled spinach
  • 100g pork sausage
  • 2 heaping spoons of Parmesan
  • 1 free range egg
  • Extra virgin olive oil, red wine, sea-salt & black pepper


Boil salted water for soft white rice (or use leftover risotto). Boil spinach and let cool. Boil 6 large cabbage leaves, drain and carefully place them on a kitchen towel.
 Heat the oil, garlic and rosemary in a thick-bottomed pot. Add the meat and season with salt and pepper. Mix until entirely browned. Then add a bit of red wine and turn down to low flame. Let it cook gently until softened and turn off.
Pulse the cooked meat, sausage, spinach and rice together in a blender to get a rough mixture (or hand chop finely with sharp knife). Lightly beat the egg in a large bowl and stir in the Parmesan and seasonings. On a work surface, spread out the cabbage leaves flat and fill them with a good amount of the mixture. Roll them tightly to seal the mixture inside keeping them tightly closed either with string or a toothpick. Fry them in shallow level of olive oil in a pan or bake at 160 C° for about 15 minutes until the cabbage is nicely golden brown and soft. Serve hot topped with bechamel if you like.