Ok – so. some things I am slightly in love with this week are:
The Walking Dead – It’s finally back! In all it’s glorious zombiefied brilliance! Is it just me or do programmes like this totally make you think out a full on action plan just in case the world is taken over by zombies one day soon? No?… Just me then…
First Frosts – Waking up yesterday to the first frost of the season. It felt properly cold for the first time walking into work even though the sun was shining. It also means we’re one step closer to the parsnips in the garden finally being ready!
Pears – I have been on pear overdrive this week. J picked the entire trees worth which were just starting to go over so I went into full on pear production on my day off. I now have stacks of pear and cardamom fruit butter, vanilla and rum preserved pears and I made the most delicious pear and ginger galette that I will hopefully be posting about soon.
Breaking Bad – Yes I realise we are totally behind on jumping on the breaking bad bandwagon but we have only just discovered it. We’ve been watching it from season one in last few weeks. We’re now on season three and I’m totally in love with it! On the plus side I’m getting to watch an episode a night so no having to wait a week for the next one = I win 🙂
Christmas Shopping – I LOVE Christmas! Like ridiculously so! I’ve been getting excited and trying to get ahead on my Christmas shopping as well as planning my Christmas crafts. I love to make my own decorations, so I’ve been stocking up on glitter spray and Christmas fabrics. It makes me very happy!
And so to todays post. Cabbage is the other thing I’ve been loving. I’ve got a big bag of Cavolo Nero in the fridge, a savoy in the panty and a red under the sink… and I’m not afraid to use them.
I seriously think we’ve had cabbage with pretty much every meal for the last week. And not only have I not minded – I’ve enjoyed it! But this one has been my favourite, hands down. The stuffing is a mix of sausage, parmesan and spinach rolled into a flavour packed meatball, which you wrap in a individual cabbage leaf and baise in a rich tomato sauce… yum!
You could pretty much use whatever sausage you like. We’re lucky enough to have an amazing local butcher that make their own, but if you don’t, use the best you can with plenty of flavour. For the added vegetables I used green beans as I had them to hand and just chucked them in to up the veggie content. Feel free to use anything you fancy – I’ve used carrots before which works well, but anything you have to hand, or nothing at all would work just as well. The meatball recipe will probably make about twice as much as you need. It freezes well so you can keep half for another tea or use it for anything else you fancy.
Sausage Stuffed Braised Cabbage Leaves: (Serves 2)
For The Meatballs:
350g (about 6-7) Good Quality Sausages – skins removed
1 Garlic Clove – Minced
Small Handful Fresh Oregano – Chopped
Small Handful Fresh Parsley – Chopped
40g Parmesan – Finely Grated
50g Fresh White Breadcrumbs
For Assembly and Sauce:
1 Large Savoy Cabbage
1.5 14oz Cans Chopped Tomatoes
1 Garlic Clove – Minced
1 Small Handful Fresh Oregano – Chopped
Large Handful Diced Green Beans (Or Carrots)
Place the spinach in a colander and wash well. Put in a large saucepan with just the water that clings to it and heat over a low heat until wilted. Cool completely then wring as much water as you can out of it and finely chop it.
Place the sausage meat in a large bowl along with all the other ingredients and season really well. Bring it together with your hands until well combined and set aside until needed.
Discard any messy or torn outside leaves from the cabbage and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Carefully peel about 8 large leaves from the cabbage and remove any thick stem bases with a V shaped cut. Blanch the cabbage leaves a few at a time for 40-60 seconds until slightly wilted. Remove them from the water and set out to dry.
Roll some of the sausage mixture into a walnut sized ball and place it in the centre of one of your cabbage leaves. Bring the edges up around the filling into the centre and secure the package with a toothpick.
Put a large pan with a lid on a medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and when it has heated add the garlic. When it has soften slightly (around 40 seconds) add the canned tomatoes and the fresh oregano. Fill one of the empty tomato cans with water and add this as well, stirring to combined. When it comes to the boil add the cabbage parcels (including the toothpicks) and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes stir in the green beans, remove the toothpicks and turn the cabbage parcels over, recover them and cook for a further 25 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for 10 more minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly.
I served mine with parmesan mashed potatoes which was yummy but even just with some bread to mop up and a bowl of these it would be delicious!