Romanian Sarmale cu Mămăligă (Cabbage Rolls with Polenta)

Romanian Sarmale cu Mămăligă (Cabbage Rolls with Polenta)
Category: Main Dish

Description: Sarmale cu Mămăligă, a beloved Romanian dish, combines the flavors of tender cabbage rolls filled with a hearty mixture of ground meat and rice, served alongside creamy polenta. This traditional dish is often enjoyed during festive occasions and family gatherings, symbolizing warmth, generosity, and the richness of Romanian culinary heritage.


Preparation Mode:

Begin by carefully separating the cabbage leaves and blanching them in boiling water until they become pliable. In a large mixing bowl, combine the washed rice, ground pork, chopped onion, minced garlic, tomato paste, dried thyme, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix the ingredients thoroughly to create the filling.

Place a spoonful of the filling onto each cabbage leaf and roll them tightly, tucking in the sides. In a large pot, arrange the cabbage rolls snugly, layering them with diced smoked pork sausage and sprinkling chopped fresh dill between the layers. Pour the tomato juice and water over the cabbage rolls.

Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 1.5 to 2 hours, allowing the flavors to meld and the cabbage rolls to cook through. Serve the Sarmale cu Mămăligă hot, accompanied by a side of creamy mămăligă. This Romanian dish embodies the heartiness and hospitality of traditional Romanian cuisine, making it a perfect centerpiece for festive meals and special occasions.