Sausage and cabbage rolls with tomato sauce

Sausage and cabbage rolls with tomato sauce

Salsichas com couve lombarda

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This is a canteen dish at heart – my father used to work for a large pharmaceutical company and sometimes I would join him at lunchtime just to eat this. With great ingredients, it becomes a classic of the Portuguese repertoire. Make sure you use the best-quality sausages you can find, with a high pork content, perhaps from an Italian deli or your butcher. Go for the plainest ones possible, with nothing more than seasoning added. It’s worth making the sauce base ahead of time, so that you can let it rest long enough for the flavours to develop nicely.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
3 rashers streaky bacon, thinly sliced
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
80ml dry white wine
1 savoy cabbage, leaves separated and hard stem removed
8-12 good-quality pork sausages
3 slices sourdough or ciabatta
sea salt flakes
ground white pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until soft and juicy. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, bay leaf and bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, increase the heat and cook for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have sizzled and reduced. Stir in the white wine, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, blanch the cabbage in a large pan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Remove and cool in iced water to stop the cooking. Using the greenest leaves, wrap each sausage in a cabbage leaf and secure with a cocktail stick.
  3. Taste the sauce for seasoning, then pour most of it into a large baking dish. Arrange the cabbage rolls in the sauce, then spoon over the remaining sauce. Cover with kitchen foil and bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through. After 10 minutes of cooking, remove the foil.
  4. Meanwhile, drizzle the bread with the remaining olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 5 minutes, or until golden brown, then leave to cool and chop into rough breadcrumbs. To serve, remove the cocktail sticks from the cabbage-sausage rolls and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
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