8 large whole cabbage leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 (28 ounces) can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, quartered
2 cups water
1 pound ground beef (ground chuck recommended)
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano crushed
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup rice, cooked al dente and cooled
Steam or microwave the cabbage leaves until tender. Let cool. Cut out a 2- to 3-inch wedge of the tough stalk from the bottom of the leaves, taking care to leave the rest intact.
Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven with olive oil and place over medium heat. Add onions and toss to coat. Cover and sweat the onions, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Add tomatoes, quartered garlic cloves, and water. Simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, combine ground beef, Italian sausage, diced onions, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, pressed garlic, egg, tomato paste, and rice. Divide meat mixture into 8 portions.
Place each meat portion at the curled tip of a cabbage leaf. Fold the top of the leaf down over the stuffing, fold the sides of the cabbage leaves in toward the center, and roll up to enclose the filling.
Place cabbage rolls seam-side down in a deep, heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Top with the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat about 1 hour.
Salvatore and Pauline Libutti
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