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Cassoeula is the elaborate, high-calorie dish made from pork and cabbage that best typifies Milanese cuisine. Variously known as cassouela, cazzoeura (derived from cazza, pan), its name refers to the casserole dish in which it is prepared.
While not exactly delighting lovers of culinary nuance and sophisticated combinations of flavours, its strong, decisive flavour makes it a real winter warmer of a dish. Cabbage firmed by a good frost, tomato purée, lots of onion, celery, chopped carrots, black pepper and pork meat in every form: ribs, sausage, tails and trotters.
A curious legend is linked to the origins of this dish. It is said that during the Spanish dominion of Milan towards the end of the 16th century, an army official taught this pork and cabbage recipe to his lover, who worked for a noble Milanese family. The dish was so well received that it spread quickly through the Lombard capital, and many years later it even came to be Arturo Toscanini’s favourite treat.