Stuffed cabbage rolls with tomato sauce
- April 2016
- Serves 4
- Hands-on 45 min
These stuffed cabbage rolls are filled with a mix of rice and lentils then covered with a rich tomato sauce and baked. Serve as a vegetarian main with some warm flatbreads.
- 18.7g (7.9g saturated)
- 88.4g (28.9g sugars)
- 50g butter
- 4 large red onions, finely sliced
- 2 tsp light brown sugar
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 10 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- 8 whole outer leaves from a savoy cabbage
- 250g cooked basmati rice (you can use a pouch of ready-cooked rice to save time)
- 400g tin green lentils, drained and rinsed
- 100ml vegetable stock, hot
- Small bunch fresh basil, chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
For the tomato sauce
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 100ml red wine
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- To make the tomato sauce, heat a large glug of olive oil in a deep frying pan and fry the onion for around 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, sugar and oregano, then simmer over a medium heat for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- For the filling, heat 30g of the butter in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat, then fry the onions with the sugar for about 15 minutes until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and thyme for the last 2 minutes, then spoon onto a plate.
- While the onions are frying, prepare the cabbage. Set a steamer (or colander) over a large pan filled with 5cm simmering water. Put the outer leaves of the cabbage in the steamer (colander), cover and cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Remove the leaves, let them cool slightly, then cut out the thick part of the stem at the bottom of each one in a V-shaped notch.
- Heat the remaining 20g butter in the same pan used to cook the red onions. When melted, stir in the rice and lentils until well coated. Pour in the vegetable stock and bubble for 2-3 minutes until well reduced. Season liberally with salt and pepper, then stir in the basil, followed by the reserved onions.
- To assemble the dish, lay a cabbage leaf flat on the work surface. Put an eighth of the filling mixture along the centre spine of the leaf, leaving 3cm uncovered at each end. Fold in the ends over the filling, then fold over one side of the leaf to cover the filling and the folded-over ends. Roll the now-covered part of the filling onto the other side of the cabbage leaf to complete the parcel.
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Put the stuffed leaf in a deep serving dish with the seam of the roll facing down. Repeat with the remaining 7 leaves, working quickly. Pour the sauce over the cabbage rolls, cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover, scatter with basil leaves and serve 2 per person.
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