Thursday, October 25, 2012

rustic stuffed cabbage rolls with tomato sauce

I love Italian food and this was no exception.  I gave my good friend a little pan of them to cook at home and she texted me, "Wow! Those cabbage rolls are crazy good!!!"  She's just the kind of gal I like to cook for! : )  These rolls reminded my husband of the little pigeons he was served in Russia.

rustic stuffed cabbage rolls with tomato sauce (adapted from Food Network Magazine, November 2012)
2 slices whole wheat bread, torn into small pieces
1/2 cup milk
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 head Savoy cabbage

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 (28 ounce) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
kosher salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 

Make the cabbage rolls.  Combine the bread and milk in a small bowl and soak 5 minutes.  Squeeze the excess milk from the bread adn transfer to a large bowl.  Add the pork, beef, parmesan, eggs, parsley, oregano, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix with your hands until combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to one day.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water.  Carefully separate the cabbage leaves (you will need 12 large leaves).  Working in batches, blanch the leaves until pliable, about 45 seconds, then remove with tongs and transfer to the ice water.  Remove from teh ice water, shake dry then layer between paper towels to soak up the excess moisture.
Shape the meat mixture into twelve 4-inch long sausages.  Lay out a cbbage leaf, then put a sausage on top lengthwise.  Fold in the short ends of the leaf then tightly roll up the leaf like a burrito.  Repeat wtih the remaining cabbage leaves and sausages.  Refrigerate until ready to cook.
To make the sauce, heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft.  Add the tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups water, the oregano and 3/4 teaspoons salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 30 minutes.  Season with salt.
Arrange the cabbage rolls in a casserole dish then cover with tomato sauce.  Sprinkle with parmesan and parsley.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

What I have to say- next I will make them with 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound Italian seasoned sausage or else increase the spices a bit.  Since I was doubtful my kids would try the cabbage rolls, I cooked some giant meatballs in the casserole covered with the tomato sauce.  Two of my kids had the cabbage rolls and two ate meatballs!

1 comment:

  1. Ya got me with that one Camie. I've never in my entire life heard of cabbage rolls being classed as Italian food. Sure the colors red, white and green from their flag is in there, but that's as close as it will ever get. If your hubs has had them in Russia, closer to their birth place, then he should have been able to correct you on that one!