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Recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls with beef and rice

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 4 with leftovers

SAUCE

1tablespoon olive oil
1medium onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
3tablespoons tomato paste
1can (28 ounces) tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
cups water

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, and water.

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2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. If the sauce is thick, add a little more water.

CABBAGE

1head (3 to 3½ pounds) green cabbage
Salt and pepper, to taste
pounds lean ground beef
cup uncooked long-grain white rice
2eggs
½cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Discard the 2 or 3 tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Rinse the cabbage, then core it, making the cut at least 2 inches deep. Bring a soup pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully immerse the cabbage and cook for 3 minutes. Using tongs, pull off 2 or 3 of the outer leaves and transfer to a bowl. Run the leaves under cold water and drain in a colander. Cook the cabbage head for another few minutes, turning it over occasionally, and continue to pull off leaves until you have 15 to 16. Reserve the remaining cabbage for the soup.

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2. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, rice, eggs, all but 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper.

3. Set the oven at 350 degrees. In a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce.

4. Working with 1 cabbage leaf at a time, slice off the thick outer rib near the stem end. Place the leaf, rounded up like a bowl, stem end closest to you. Spoon about cup of the meat mixture about 1 inch from the stem end; form it into a short log shape. Starting at the bottom of the leaf, fold up, then fold in the two sides, and roll a cylinder. Don’t make the packets too tight because the rice expands as it cooks. Transfer the roll, seams down, to the baking dish. Shape the remaining rolls in the same way. You should be able to fit 15 to 16 rolls in one layer.

5. Spoon the remaining tomato sauce on top. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 1¼ hours or until the rice is fully cooked; cut into a roll to test it. Reserve 4 cabbage rolls for the soup. Serve the rolls with their cooking juices, sprinkled with parsley. Lisa Zwirn

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