Monday, January 16, 2006

Polish Stuffed Cabbage Meets Luganega!

The fantastic luganega sausage taste test inspired me to invent a great (I hope) winter dish of Polish-Italian extraction. Gołumki di Luganega. The great Polish stuffed cabbage meets Milan’s Luganega sausage! Northern Italy, of course uses a great deal of cabbage in winter dishes like Minestrone and Cassoeula. All of the recipes I looked through in cookbooks and online (FoodTV and Epicurious) call for cabbage to be stuffed with ground beef but Luganega will certainly be tastier than that. We need something like this to warm us up since it's been a much colder winter than normal. Here’s the recipe.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 lb luganega sausage
1 cup cooked rice (I happen to have some left-over basmati)
2 egg whites (use 1 egg unless, like me, you happen to have 2 egg whites waiting in the fridge for something to be done with them)
1 tsp crushed, dried rosemary
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
8 large savoy cabbage leaves
½ of a 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp butter

First set a large pot of water to boil. In a frying pan, sauté the minced onion in the butter or oil until soft and lightly browned. Remove to a medium sized bowl. Add the sausage to the pan and brown while breaking it up as much as possible. Remove to the bowl. Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix. Taste for salt and pepper. By now, the water should be boiling. Add the cabbage leaves to blanch, that is boil BRIEFLY. The leaves should be tender and pliable but not so soft they fall apart. Remove cabbage from pot, pat dry and lay out on a large cutting board or work surface. Preheat oven to 350F. With a knife, take out the thick rib from each leaf, then add 1/8 of the filling mixture to each and roll like a burrito. Pour the crushed tomatoes in the bottom of a baking dish. Place rolls tightly together in the dish seam side down. Dot with butter. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes.


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