- 15ml - oil
- 5ml - fennel seeds
- 2 - garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 - red chilli, chopped
- 1 - onion, chopped
- 1 - medium carrot, diced
- 1 - fennel bulb, chopped
- 2 - sprigs thyme
- 500ml - cooked jasmine rice (al dente)
- 650g - pork mince
- - about 16 small cabbage leaves, blanched and refreshed
- 300ml - of your favourite tomato relish
- 125ml - grated Parmesan
1 Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and fry the fennel seeds, garlic and chilli until fragrant. Add the onion, carrot and fennel and cook slowly for 5 minutes until glossy. Allow to cool slightly. Stir the cooled vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper (to taste), and rice into the mince and mix through. Be careful not to squash the rice.
2 Divide the meat mixture into 12 equal meatballs and wrap each one in a cabbage leaf (use two if a single leaf is too small). Spread a spoonful of relish in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with a bit of cheese. (You can also season with some of the delicate fennel leaves from the top of the fennel bulb.) Arrange the meatballs in a single layer on top. Add the rest of the tomato relish and cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. Then bake uncovered for a further 15–25 minutes or until browned and cooked through.