Farcellets De Col
Stuffed cabbage leaves with pork
According to food historian Clifford Wright, cabbage was one of the most common foods on the Mediterranean table for more than a millennium. And rolled or stuffed leaves, whether they are cabbage, grape, or lettuce, are found all over the Mediterranean.
· One 2 - 3 pound head Savoy cabbage, cored deeply (cut 1½ to 2 " deep)
2 slices white bread, crusts removed
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground pork
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup raisins
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 can (28 oz ) whole tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ cup dry white wine
Fresh Italian parsleywhole tomatoes, chopped
Submerge the cabbage in a pot (deep enough) of boiling water. Turn every few minutes until the outer leaves are pliable and just begin to become transparent, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cabbage from the water and pull off the loose outer leaves, which are soft. Put the cabbage back into the water and repeat the process to yield 18 leaves. Trim the thick ribs from each leaf.
Continue to cook the center core until it is transparent. Remove from the water; cool and finely chop the core and set it aside.
In a large bowl, soak the bread in the milk. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil and sauté the onions until soft, about 7 minutes. Remove half of the onions and reserve. Add the garlic and pork and cook slowly 12 minutes. Squeeze the bread, discard any excess milk, and return the bread to the bowl. With a slotted spoon, add the onions and pork to the bowl. Add 1/2 cup chopped cabbage, pine nuts, red pepper, parsley, raisins, vinegar, eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Mix well.
Place 2 to 3 tablespoons filling in the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold up 2 sides of the cabbage leaf and roll to enclose the filling. Place the dumplings, seam side down, in a single layer in a baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the remaining onions in a skillet. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and wine and simmer 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Puree in a food processor or blender. Pour the sauce over the dumplings and bake until the leaves are soft, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Serve garnished with parsley leaves.