This is an easy dinner to make during the week. The filling can be made a day ahead if needed and the cabbage can even be stuffed earlier in the day and then cooked whenever convienent.
The trick to cabbage rolls is using the outer leaves of the cabbage only. These are the ones that come off in whole pieces (or almost whole) instead of breaking apart. The other way is to parboil the entire head of cabbage in salted water until it is just soft enough to peel away the leaves one at a time without breaking. Of course this will leave a lot of extra semi-cooked cabbage so have another dish in mind to use it.
- 2 sausages cut from their casings
- 1 cup white rice
- 3 roma tomatoes diced fine
- 1/2 red onion diced fine
- 2 small red potatoes diced into small cubes
- 8-10 fresh sage leaves chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cayenne peppers minced
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
- 6-8 large whole cabbage leaves
- White wine
In a large saute pan heat 2 tbsp butter and cook onion over low heat until it begins to turn golden brown. Add potatoes and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add hot pepper and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes more. Add sausage and break into small clumps while browning it. Add rice and stir well to coat. Add tomatoes, broth and sage and bring to a boil then cover pan and turn heat down to a simmer. Cook until rice has absorbed all the liquid, it will still have a small amount of crunch. Add cheese and set stuffing aside if preparing later. When ready bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cut lemon in half and squeeze in juice. Add cabbage leaves to water and par boil until they begin to wilt. Do not overcook leaves, you just want them to be pliable enough to roll. Remove leaves from water and when cool enough to handle spoon about 1 cup of filling into center. Fold leaves on each side around filling then roll the leaf starting with the rib end to the top. Place seam side down in a roasting pan filled with 1/4″ white wine. Repeat with remaining leaves. Bake rolls in a 360 degree oven until they begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.