• 1 large head of cabbage
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Sour cream for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cabbage and blanch for 5 minutes. Remove the cabbage and let it cool.
  2. Carefully peel the cabbage leaves off the head and set them aside. Reserve any damaged leaves for later.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, uncooked rice, chopped onion, tomato paste, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper.
  4. Mix everything together until well combined.
  5. Place about 2 tablespoons of the meat and rice mixture onto each cabbage leaf and roll it up, tucking in the sides.
  6. Place the cabbage rolls in a large pot, seam side down, and layer any damaged leaves on top of the rolls.
  7. Pour in the broth to cover the cabbage rolls.
  8. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, until the cabbage is tender and the filling is cooked through.
  9. Serve the sarmale hot, with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Enjoy this hearty and delicious traditional Romanian dish!



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