Italian Stuffed Cabbage

Italian Stuffed Cabbage

1 large Red Dog Farm savoy cabbage
7-ounce hunk of bread, crusts cut away, torn into small scraps (you’ll have about 3 loose cups of scraps)
2/3 cup milk
14 ounces pork sausage (about 4 sausages, casings removed)
1 small sprig of sage, finely chopped
1 small sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 28-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes,
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove Garlic, peeled and minced

Prepare cabbage: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Carefully peel 12 nice, large leaves. Blanch leaves for about 30 seconds to 1 minute (you can do a few at at time), until wilted, and spread out on towels so that they dry and cool.

Make filling: Place bread scraps in bottom of large bowl and pour milk over. Let sit for a few minutes, then mash it gently with a spoon until something close to a paste forms. Mix with sausage meat, herbs, Parmesan and a pinch or two of salt and black pepper.

Make the cabbage rolls: Lay your first cabbage leaf on the counter. If it doesn’t want to lay flat, pare away some of the thickest stalk (with a paring knife or vegetable peeler) to make it easier. Form some of the filling mixture into a golf ball-sized round. Wrap cabbage leaf around it and pin at the top with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining leaves and mixture.

Make the sauce: To prepare your tomatoes, roughly chop or break them up with a fork or your hands. In a heavy saute pan with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds (just until golden, not a moment longer) then add the tomatoes, bringing the sauce to a gentle boil. Season with salt if needed. Add cabbage packages, arranging them carefully in the pan so they all fit, cover the pot and gently simmer them for 25 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and carefully turn the rolls over, cooking them for another 25. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes to cook off some of the wetness. They’re all cooked now, but if you can rest them for another 15 minutes before eating them, the flavors settle and they become even better.