Cabbage rolls of River Cottage
Make the tomato sauce. Chop the onion and brown, a medium-low flame, in the two tablespoons of oil with the bay leaf and thyme. After 10 minutes (for me much less, because the ten minutes I was burned and all I had to do it all again) add the carrot and celery, cook for another 5 minutes and then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 15 minutes, leaving Simmer the sauce. Preheat the oven to 180° C.
Remove the thickest part of the coasts of the cabbage leaves with a vegetable peeler. Bring to boil a pot of salted water and cook for about two minutes the cabbage leaves. Put them under cold water and dry with a towel or paper towels. Set them aside. For the filling. Soak the raisins in warm water (not specified, but I did). Cook the barley for 12 minutes or according to the time indicated on the package. Heat the oil in a small frying pan, add the onion and cook over low heat until it is tender. Also add the garlic and cook for a minute (I have not put neither one nor the other because for my taste there was already too much in tomato sauce). In a bowl, mix the garlic and onion with the cooked barley, lemon zest, herbs (to which I added the lemon thyme to bring out the lemon flavor), raisins, walnuts and chilli dried. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the cabbage leaves on a clean, pour a tablespoon of the filling in the center, close the sides of cabbage leaves and roll inwards starting from the stem, until the packets. Place them in a baking dish with the closure down.
Pour the tomato sauce spooned over the leaves, add the cream (if desired) and sprinkle with pepper. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, serving as desired with other sour cream.