Nothing says home to me more than pasta with braciole. Especially on a cold winter Sunday, these pockets of meat goodness in homemade red gravy say warmth, comfort and happiness in every bite.
Like many Italian dishes, there are many different recipes and methods on how to cook braciole and what braciole really is. Basically, braciole is a piece of very thin meat (usually beef) with a combination of cheese, onion, spinach and breadcrumbs filling and either tied into a roll or secured with toothpicks. The can be seared on all sides and left in the sauce to cook through or pan fried and then placed in a sauce to simmer until done.
My mom use to make a different kind of braciole that was fried in a pan that you could eat once cooled as is or drizzled with red gravy – we use to call these meat treats lol. However, many believe there is only one way to properly make any kind of Italian dish and that is the way your nonna made it. No matter who the famous chef is, what world class recipe they have created and tested in their kitchen or expensive restaurant, the true world’s authority on Italian cuisine is and always will be someone’s nonna. And that is one of the best things about Italian cooking.
If you know me or have been following my blog, you will know that my favorite things is to have fresh pasta and sauce on Sunday’s. If given a choice as to what to have with the pasta, my family will always, hands down pick braciole – even over meatballs which, I didn’t think was possible. My family loves it! I am told it’s like little pieces of heaven that melt in your mouth. Little do they know that these little pieces of heaven are filled with spinach as well – momma’s little secret that I plan to take to the grave or at least until I pass this recipe down to them.
Here is what you will need:
- Pasta Sauce – here is the link to my recipe https://athomeca.com/2018/02/21/the-comfort-of-pasta/
- Pasta (I prefer spaghetti with this dish)
- 2 pounds Sirloin or other lean beef, sliced thinly into sheets
- ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup of fresh grated gruyere cheese
- ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 6 ounces paper thin sliced prosciutto (optional)
- 1 diced onion
- 1 package of frozen spinach thawed
- Butcher’s string
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Here is how to make it:
- In a frying pan over medium low heat, add 2 tbsp of butter.
Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, add the garlic and spinach and cook until the onion is translucent. Take off the heat and add the bread crumbs stirring until combine. Set aside until the mixture is cool enough to touch. Add the parsley, parmesan and gruyere cheese.
With a meat hammer, pound out the slices of beef until they’re as thin as you can get them.
Add a few tablespoons of the cheese mixture to the middle of each flattened sheet of beef. Add a thin sheet of prosciutto if using. Roll up the sheet of beef to form a roll. Tie the roll securely with butcher’s twine.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil to the pot you are going to make your pasta sauce in and brown the braciole on all sides until nicely caramelized. Remove the braciole.
- Add the wine to the pot and deglaze the bottom.
- Follow my instructions here to make your pasta sauce. https://athomeca.com/2018/02/21/the-comfort-of-pasta/
- Add the browned braciole and allow the sauce to simmer on very low heat for an hour to an hour and a half. Be sure to stir the sauce frequently so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. If the sauce becomes too thick, thin it by adding a bit of water.
- Serve with spaghetti or your favorite pasta noodle.
I hope this recipe inspires you to be creative in your kitchen – enjoy!