The Recipes

Braised and Stuffed Cabbage

This is like a healthy version of stuffed pasta!  No noodles; the cabbage leaves are the package to deliver porky goodness. 

Braised and Stuffed Cabbage

Ingredients:

- 4-6 savoy cabbage leaves, center rib removed
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1 sweet Italian sausage link
- 1 carrot, cut into rough pieces
- 1 rib celery, cut into rough pieces
- 1 onion, half finely diced and half cut into large chunks
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 egg
- 1/4 c. grated parmesan
- 1/4 c. bread crumbs
- handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- shaved parmiaganno regiano
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt liberally, and add the cabbage leaves.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Drain the leaves and set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 T. of olive oil and add the diced onion.  Season with salt and allow to soften for 7-8 minutes.  Add one clove of garlic and stir to combine.  Set aside and allow the mixture to cool.

Put the roughly chopped carrot, celery and onion in a food processor and pulse until it resembles a paste.  In a large, high-sided skillet, heat 1 T. of oil and add the mixture from the food processor.  Season with salt.  Let the mixture, called sofrito, to brown for 6-7 minutes.  Add the remaining garlic and crushed red pepper, stir, and add the tomatoes.  Let the sauce simmer.

While the sauce is simmering, mix together the sausage, pork, egg and cooled onion mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add in the bread crumbs, parsley and parmesan.  Get messy!  Use your hands to combine.  Take the cabbage leaves and spoon the meat mixture into the middle of the leaves, creating a log shape.  Create the bundles by first folding in the sides, then rolling the leaves in towards you.  Keep the seam side down.  Nestle the bundles into the simmering sauce.  Cover and continue to simmer for 25 minutes.  Remove the cover and cook for another 10 minutes. 

Plate the bundles, and top with the shaved cheese.