Stuffed Savoy Cabbage

Serves 12

For the Tomato Sauce (makes 3 cups):

-1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes, with juice
-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
coarse salt

For the Stuffed Cabbage:

coarse salt
-1 large head Savoy cabbage (2 to 3 pounds)
-12 ounces ground chuck (90 percent lean)
-12 ounces ground pork
-2 cups cooked brown rice (from 1 cup dry)
-1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
-1/4 cup chopped fresh flat parsley
-1 tablespoon hot paprika

1. Make the tomato sauce: Pulse tomatoes with juice in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat,. Add onion, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 20 minutes. Season with salt. Let cool completely.

2. Make the stuffed cabbage: Bring a large post of salted water to a boil. Add cabbage head, and cook until outer leaves are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Peel outer layer of leaves, and drain. Return remaining cabbage to water, and repeat until all leaves are cooked and removed. Pat each leaf dry with a kitchen towel. Select 12 large light-green leaves. Reserve remaining leaves for another use.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using 2 forks, gently stir together beef, pork, rice, onion, parsley, paprika, and 1 tablespoon salt.

4. Working with 1 leaf at a time, trim thick part of rib with a paring knife, leaving leaf intact. Arrange about 1/2 cup filling (less for smaller leaves) in center of each leaf. Fold stem end of cabbage over filling. Fold in sides of cabbage. Carefully roll cabbage over to form a package, overlapping ends to seal. Transfer each, seam side down, to a large, shallow baking dish.

5. Spread sauce over stuffed cabbage leaves. Cover with parchment lined foil, and bake until cooked through and cabbage is tender, about 1 hour. Enjoy!

Make ahead: Tomato sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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