I know, I know... you'd rather see holiday cookies and desserts -- not cabbage!
But, I have to eat my vegetables, too!
• Meat-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls •
from The Ultimate Italian Cookbook by Carla Capalbo
• 1 head Savoy cabbage
• 2/3 cup white bread
• milk, to soak bread
• 1 1/2 cups cold meat, very finely chopped, or fresh lean ground beef
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• Pinch of grated nutmeg
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 5 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 1 cup dry white wine
• additional Parmesan for grating
1. Cut the leaves from the cabbage. Blanch the leaves, a few at a time, in a large pan of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Refresh under cold water. Spread the leaves out on clean dish towels to dry.
2. Cut the crusts from the bread, and discard. Soak the bread in a little milk for about 5 minutes. Squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands.
3. In a mixing bowl combine the chopped or minced meat with the egg and soaked bread. Stir in the parsley, garlic and Parmesan. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
4. Divide any very large cabbage leaves in half, discarding the rib. Lay the leaves out on a flat surface. Form little mounds of stuffing at the edge of each leaf. Roll up the leaves, tucking the ends in as you roll. Squeeze each roll lightly to help the leaves stick together.
5. In a deep pan large enough to hold all of the cabbage rolls, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, and cook gently until it softens. Raise the heat slightly, and add the cabbage rolls, turning them over gently, with a large spoon as they begin to cook.
6. Pour in half of the wine. Cook over low to moderate heat until the wine has evaporated. Add the rest of the wine, cover the pan, and cook for 10-15 minutes more. Remove the cover, and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat, and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving. If desired, top with grated Parmesan cheese.
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