|Italian Stuffed Cabbage
1 small cabbage
2 TBS olive oil
1 pound ground round (or 1/2 lb each of ground beef and pork)
Salt, pepper and oregano to taste
1 cup chopped onions
2 cups cooked, long-grain white rice
1 egg, beaten
1 TBS finely chopped parsley leaves
1 tsp lemon or orange zest
1/4 cup water
prepared tomato sauce
Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Split cabbage head and remove and ugly outer leaves. Simmer cabbage in boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender, drain and cool. Carefully remove 8 nice large leaves, and chop the remainder. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the meat in oil, about 3-5 minutes. Add the onions, season with salt, pepper and herbs to taste, and continue to cook until the onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes longer. Turn into a mixing bowl and cool slightly. Stir in the rice, egg, zest and parsley, seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and herbs.
Spread the chopped cabbage onto the bottom of a casserole pan - reserve any remaining cabbage for another use*. Place approximately 1/2 cup of the meat mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf, rolling up tightly. Place on top of the chopped cabbage, add the water, cover and roast for 20 minutes. Remove cover, smother with prepared tomato sauce and roast until bubbling and heated through - about 10-15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serves 4.
*Extra cabbage can be sliced and stir fried as a side dish for another meal.