There was no such thing as fast food in our home; ingredients were simple and straightforward, and this recipe is no exception. This was one of my favorite recipes that my Italian mother made for me often, simply because I asked her too!
Cabbage Rolls With Brown Rice and Marinara
18 Chinese cabbage leaves
½ pound ground veal
½ pound ground Italian sausage
1-1/2 cups prepared brown rice
¼ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of chili flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
For the cabbage leaves: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; blanch the cabbage leaves for 2 minutes. Remove leaves and immerse in a bowl of ice and water. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels.
For the cabbage filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine the veal, sausage, rice, breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, chili flakes and salt and pepper; incorporate thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place a whole cabbage leaf on a cutting board. Add some of the cabbage filling to the center and roll up, folding in the sides and fastening with a toothpick. Repeat procedure for remaining leaves. Add cabbage rolls to a baking dish; cover with marinara sauce. Cover baking dish tightly with foil. Place cabbage rolls in oven and bake for one hour.
At service: Place three cabbage rolls on a plate. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.