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While cabbage didn’t play a huge role in my childhood cuisine, there were two dishes that did show up to everyone’s delight — noodles with sautéed onions and cabbage, and stuffed cabbage. I make the noodle dish several times a year, but I’ve never tackled the stuffed cabbage.
When I bought a lovely head of cabbage at Whole Foods this week, along with some wide noodles, I suddenly flashed to the stuffed cabbage and thought there must be a way to capture the flavor without the fuss, and why not combine the two dishes? The following is the delightfully delicious results!
Hungarian Lazy Stuffed Cabbage and Noodles
8 oz. package wide noodles, prepared as directed on the package.
1 lb. ground beef
I large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup brown basmati rice (can use regular white rice if you prefer)
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
1 28 oz. can tomato puree
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
¼ cup plus 2 TBS vinegar (can use white or cider)
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar (or Succinat)
1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325°F
Sauté onions, garlic and ground beef in oil until beef is browned. Add rice.
In a bowl, mix together tomato puree, diced tomatoes, vinegar, salt and sugar.
In a large, deep casserole layer 1/3 of the cabbage, followed by ½ the beef mixture. Pour half the sauce over it.
Layer another 1/3 of the cabbage, the rest of the beef mixture, and then the remaining 1/3 of cabbage. Pour remaining sauce over.
Bake for 90 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in cooked noodles.
Lower heat to 300°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Note: I prefer the sweetness of the sugar because that’s what I was raised on. You can omit the white sugar if you prefer a less sweet version.