These are an ode to my Polish heritage. I wish I had some amazing family recipes that I was taught and could share with you but the reality is that I’ve learned almost all of my cooking from reading recipes and watching cooking shows/videos. But that’s why I do this – if I can learn to make and share an amazing meal with my loved ones from the Internet then I hope you get to do the same! These are awesomely healthy and make great leftovers. I suggest to serve these with some steamed vegetables or a green salad.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 8 large cabbage leaves *see notes
- 1 ½ cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
- 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups tomatoes passata, divided (you can buy this in most grocery stores- it comes in a tall glass jar and is usually found in the tomato sauce section)
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
*Removing cabbage leaves without ripping them is a bitch and is pretty impossible without cooking them first. Fill a large pot halfway with water. Bring it to a boil and place the full head of cabbage in with the root end facing up. You want the cabbage to be fully submerged or at least close to. Boil for 1 minute, carefully remove from the water and peel back the outer leaves. You should be able to remove about 2-3 leaves easily. Place the cabbage back in the boiling water and continue this process until you have enough leaves to stuff. Place the separated leaves back into the boiling water and cook for an additional minute.
In a medium sized fry pan, heat 1 tsp. oil over medium heat. Add in ¾ of the diced onion and sauté until onions soften and begin to caramelize, around 5 minutes. Add in sausage and 3 cloves minced garlic, and continue to cook, breaking the sausage up as you go. Once the sausage is fully cooked, stir in cooked rice and ¼ of tomatoes passata. Transfer contents of the pan to a bowl.
Using the same pan, heat up remaining 1 tsp olive oil. Add in the rest of the chopped onion, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add in remaining clove of garlic and sauté until fragrant, approximately 1 minute. Pour in 1 ½ cups of tomatoes passata and lower heat to a simmer. Stir in thyme and basil and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer, stirring occasionally while you finish making the cabbage rolls.
Preheat oven to 350F. Place 1/8 of the rice filling into each cabbage leave (this should be about 3 large spoonfuls). Fold each cabbage leaf lengthwise and roll it upwards from the base of the leaf to the tip, in the same manner you would go about rolling a burrito.
Place the cabbage rolls in a large baking dish and cover with the tomato sauce. Cook for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Dig in!