Chef Vito Gnazzo’s Meatballs Wrapped in Cabbage Leaves

Flavorful World would like to thank Chef Vito Gnazzo, Executive Chef at Il Gattopardo and The Leopard at Des Artistes for sharing this recipe that’s as visually attractive as it is quick and easy to make. Chef Gnazzo’s beef-and-veal creation makes a great first course or small plate option, whether for the next time you entertain, or just an additional bite of something wonderful to include in your weekend family dinner.
Image credit: Il Gattopardo
Image credit: Il Gattopardo
Want to take an eating experience featuring these gems from delicious to truly transcendent?  Pair it with a glass of Montefalco Rosso DOC (a red wine blend out of Umbria, Italy featuring Sangiovese, Sagrantino, and other local red grapes) like Chef Gnazzo does at Il Gattopardo.  My full review of this wine is forthcoming next month, so be sure to watch for it. In the meantime, you’ve got to try this recipe…

Ingredients – Serving 4 people (3 meatballs per person):

  • 18 oz. grounded beef
  • 6 oz. grounded veal
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz. bread crumbs soaked in milk
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small bunch of Italian parsley
  • 1 oz. Parmigiano grated
  • 1 oz. pecorino Romano grated
  • 12 leaves of blanched Savoy cabbage

For the Sauce:

  • 1 oz. of white wine
  • 2 oz. of veal stock
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 2 oz. of olive oil


Chop the onions, garlic, and parsley very fine. Put the meat in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth. With your hands, make little patties, blanch the cabbage leaves and wrap the meat balls with the cabbage leaf. Fry them in hot olive oil for one minute each side and put them in the oven for about 5 minutes (at 375 F). Eliminate the oil, add the white wine, veal stock, thyme and the olive oil. Cook for another minute. Add salt and pepper to your taste.

Best served with baby greens.

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