Stuffed Cabbage From Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi Serves 4
2 tbsp. unsalted butter 1 ½ oz. vermicelli noodles (not the rice variety) 7/8 cup basmati rice 1 ¼ cups water Salt 1 medium cabbage 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and roughly chopped ¾ cup ricotta ¼ cup grated Parmesan 3 tbsp. chopped mint 4 tbsp. chopped parsley, plus extra to finish 3 garlic cloves, crushed Black pepper 1 cup dry white wine 6 tbsp. vegetable stock 1 ½ tbsp. sugar 4 tbsp. olive oil
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Break the vermicelli with your hands into ¾-inch-long pieces and add them to the pan. Stir as you fry them for 1 to 2 minutes. Take care! They can burn in a second. As soon as the noodles start turning golden add the rice and stir well. Then add the water and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to the minimum, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid and allowing to cool down a bit. While the rice is cooking, cut the cabbage vertically in half. Peel off the leaves and blanch them in boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes, or until semisoft. You may need to do this in a few batches, depending on the size of your pan. (Alternatively, trim off the base of the cabbage, then put it whole into a pot of boiling water; gradually remove the outer leaves as they cook.) Refresh the leaves under cold running water, drain and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To the cooked rice add the pine nuts, ricotta, half the parmesan, the herbs, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste; mix well with a fork. Use the cooked cabbage leaves to make parcels of whatever size you choose, each one containing a generous amount of the rice filling. Alternatively, make rolls by placing some rice filling at the base of a rectangular-shaped piece of cabbage and then rolling it up; don’t worry that the sides remain open.
Arrange the cabbage parcels close together in an oven proof dish (if you can’t fill up the dish completely use cabbage trimming to fill in the gaps). Whisk together the wine, stock, sugar, olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Pour this over the cabbage parcels and put the dish in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until almost all the liquid is gone. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan, return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes for the cheese to melt and turn golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.