For me there is something so comforting about Italian food. The smells that warm the house all day while pots simmer on the stove, large family dinners, food that makes you want to take a nap when it’s all over. I absolutely adore Italian cuisine, and this is part of my journey to make traditional dishes healthy without losing all of the wonderful flavors. Here we use new combinations, but all traditional ingredients. Buon Appetito!
Ingredients for Sauce (or Gravy!)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion – diced
- 1 medium bulb garlic – peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 - 28 ounce cans of crush tomatoes
- 1- 28 ounce can tomato puree
- 1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
Ingredients for the Braciole
- 8 tablespoons pine nuts – toasted and finely chopped
- 4 hard boiled eggs – peeled and finely chopped
- 8 cloves fresh garlic – minced
- 1 large handful fresh basil - chopped
- 1 large handful fresh parsley - chopped
- 2 lbs. boneless top round sliced thin into 8 pieces – pounded flat
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- 8 large or 16 small slices of prosciutto (enough to cover a single layer of beef)
In a large stock pot over medium-low heat, sweat down the onions and garlic for about 15 minutes or until they soften. Add the tomatoes, half a large can of water, and turn heat up to medium. While sauce is coming up to a simmer, add remaining spices. Once up to a good simmer, reduce heat to a low simmer (you may have to adjust periodically). Don’t forget to give it a stir every once in a while to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
While your sauce is gently simmering, it is time to start the Braciole. Start by toasting your pine nuts. In a dry sauté pan over medium heat, add the nuts and heat for around 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from heat to cool before handling, then chop roughly in a food processor.
In a mixing bowl, combine the pine nuts, hard boiled egg, fresh minced garlic, basil, and parsley.
Lay your meat out on a clean working surface. If need be – pound flat on a cutting board until no more than 1/8 of an inch thick. Sprinkle each piece lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Lay the prosciutto across the meat in a single layer, and spread approximately ¼ cup of the mixture across the meat as well.
Roll up the beef rolls tightly and fasten with toothpicks - one at each end pinching it closed, and one in the center if needed. And gently nestle your meat into your sauce.
Turn heat down to low, cover pot, keeping sauce at a low simmer. Turn meat occasionally. Let simmer for around 3 hours.