I was in the mood for cabbage rolls, but I didn't have any cabbage. I always have plenty of chard in the garden though. While I was contemplating the recipe - I decided why not try something new using Italian sausage, and home made stewed tomatoes and sauce. It does take some preparation time, but the results are well worth the effort. This is going to be a new favorite in our home - they were delicious with creamy mashed potatoes.
1In a small sauce pan add rice and 2/3 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmering. Cook until rice is cooked about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to warm before adding to filling.
2While rice is cooking bring water to a boil in a large stock pot. Submerge chard in batches and cook until wilted. Don't walk away - this process is really quick- just a stir or two. Remove from pot and drain excess water. Don't squeeze, just lay leaves out over a strainer or screen.
3In a medium mixing bowl combine italian sausage, onion, bell pepper, cooled rice, and egg. Mix to combine. Italian sausage is well seasoned so I don't add additional seasoning to the filling.
4In a separate mixing bowl combine stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce.
5Now you are ready to assemble the rolls. Ladle 1/3 of the sauce mixture into your baking dish.
6Lay chard on cutting board. Depending on the leaves, you may use one or two - just make sure it will cover your filling.
7Measure about 3 to 4 tablespoons of filling onto chard.
8Wrap chard around filling in opposite directions.
9Tuck sides under.
10Place on sauce in baking dish.
11Finish assembling rolls and top with sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 until done about an hour. I verify with a food thermometer in the center of the pan.
12These are excellent served with mashed potatoes, with additional sauce ladled over the top. Enjoy