For Christmas, my folks gave me a copy of The Sopranos Family Cookbook. If you’re remotely a fan of Italian cuisine, I heartily recommend it, even if you’ve never seen an episode of The Sopranos in your life. The book is a nice hardcover packed with amazing recipes and gorgeous full-color photos of the finished dishes.

I’m excited because now I finally have a recipe for one of my favorite Italian dishes: Braciole (pronounced “Bra-jole”….stuffed beef rolls in tomato sauce.) Here it is:

(Serves 4)

4 thin slices boneless beef round (about 1 pound)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 thin slices prosciutto (Italian ham)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 cup dry red wine
4 cups tomato puree, or canned Italian tomatoes passed through a food mill
4 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 pound ziti or penne, cooked and still hot

Place the beef between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound gently with a meat pounder or rubber mallet to a 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness.

Sprinkle the beef with the garlic, cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper. Cover with the prosciutto slices. Roll up each piece like a sausage and tie it with kitchen string.

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the braciole and garlic. Cook, turning the meat occasionally, until it is browned on all sides and the garlic is golden. Add the wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic.
Stir in the tomato puree and basil.

Cover and cook over low heat, turning the meat occasionally, until it is tender when pierced with a fork, about 2 hours. Add a little water if the sauce becomes too thick.

Serve the sauce over the hot cooked ziti as a first course, followed by the braciole.

I’m planning on making this for dinner later this week…just waiting for to pick up some wine, and see if she can find some prosciutto, rather than the generic ham that we have.

9 Replies to “Fuggedaboudit.”

  1. You’ve been living in the midwest too long if you have to tell people how to pronounce braciole.

    (Gnocchi are a pain to make. Most professional chefs will tell you that unless you’re a caterer or a restaurant, you’re better off buying pre-made. There’s a really good recipe though in the Frugal Gourmet book on Italian cooking.)

  2. Yummmm. You know I was just trying to figure what to do with that round steak I took out of the freezer yesterday!

    I think I’m going to try that tonight!

    ::adding a couple of things to existing shopping list::

  3. My Italian grandma used to make this occasionally, with three small modifications:

    1. She used bread instead of proscuitto. Gave it a dumpling-like flavor.

    2. She used toothpicks instead of kitchen string.

    3. She served it over rigatoni rather than ziti or penne.

    (Unless I’ve screwed up the name and confused it with something else… it sounded like “bru-jole.”)

    (You have to understand, the Italian side of my family almost completely acculturated to American life long before I was born; I have very little of the Italian-American existence. We never did seven fishes for Xmas, for example.)


  4. I didn’t think they were any harder than dumplings, but the last time I made them I was 16 years old and in Milan. Perhaps time has erased the memory of the pain. It seems like the recipes I see now have waaaaay too much flour. I’ll check out the Frugal Gourmet’s book…maybe I can find a cheap one used. Thanks!

  5. I recently received Food To Die For, a cookbook with recipes for dishes described in the Kay Scarpetta mysteries by Patricia cornwell. Same concept – absolutely amazing recipes. It is one of two newly acquired cookbooks I have. Both are, as a friend was saying recently, “food porn” :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.