Italian Peasant Stew – Sausage and Cabbage Stew

The best thing about cold weather? It’s the best excuse to make a big pot of soup or stew! A hearty and simple Italian peasant stew, which is more stew than soup.

It uses Savoy cabbage (use Napa cabbage for milder taste),  Italian sausage, white beans, fresh parsley, and Parmesan cheese.  We use savoy cabbage for this recipe, but you could use regular cabbage, Asian cabbage, collard greens or even dinosaur kale. If you want to make this stew vegetarian, leave out the sausage and double the beans.
Easy to make and easy on the budget. Buon appetito!
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound Bernie’s Sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 large yellow onion, half sliced and half minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • 1 15-oz can of white beans (cannellini, Great Northern, or Navy), drained
  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 large (2-lb) savoy cabbage, quartered, then sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup chopped parsley, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup to a cup of freshly grated Grana Padano or Pecorino cheese for garnish (or Parmesan)


  • Brown the sausage: Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a large (8-quart), thick-bottomed pot. Add the sausage, breaking it up into pieces as you put it into the pot in a single layer. When the sausage has nicely browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Sauté onions, garlic: Add the minced onion (save the sliced onion for later) and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.Once the onions give up some of their water, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add wine, beans, boil, lower heat to simmer: Add the white wine and the beans and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. If you want, for a thicker base, use an immersion blender to blend some (or all) of the beans and onions.
  • Add water, stock, salt, cabbage, sliced onion, bay leaves sausage, then simmer: Add the water, stock, salt, cabbage, sliced onion half, bay leaves and browned sausage. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then uncover and continue cooking until the cabbage is tender, about another 10-20 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle on chopped parsley and grated cheese.


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