Northern Italians are known for their hearty cabbage dishes like cabbage and bread soup, braised cabbage and, of course, cabbage bundles or wraps.
To make quick work of this recipe, instead of boiling the cabbage to wilt the leaves, just microwave them in 10-second increments until soft enough to roll; works like a charm.
- 1 large head cabbage, cored (Savoy if possible)
- 1 pound ground pork, beef, chicken or turkey
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese, plus extra to sprinkle on top
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or barley
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Wash the cabbage well and remove 12 whole leaves. Reserve the rest of the cabbage for another use such as soup or coleslaw.
Place the 12 leaves on a microwave safe dish or casserole and microwave for 30 seconds until they are wilted. Set the leaves aside.
In a bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients except the tomato sauce.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.
Spread each leaf out on a cutting board.
With a sharp knife, carefully remove the thick section of the leaf rib to facilitate rolling.
Place about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture in the center or each leaf.
Fold in the two side ends to encase the filling and then roll up the leaf to make a small bundle. Place them in a single layer in the baking dish.
Spread two cups of the tomato sauce over the top of the wraps.
Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle the tops of the wraps with additional cheese and bake 10 minutes longer.
Serve hot and pass remaining sauce on the side.
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