Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Sunday Supper--brasciole and roasted vegetables

Ciao amici!

I had guests Sunday evening and grabbed what I had on hand to satisfy our hunger. Later in the evening, we watched fireworks on the rooftop as Boston celebrated its 375th birthday.

Shown above is a stuffed brasciole (pronounced brah ZHEEO lay). Traditionally made with flank steak, brasciole in my family was always made using a meatball recipe and then stuffed with all manner of goodies: salami, cheese, hardboiled eggs, raisins, pinenuts, spinach, roasted peppers, breadcrumbs. I chose to stuff this one with mortadella, provolone cheese, fresh basil leaves and two hardboiled eggs.

Brasciole can be made ahead of time and then served at room temperature. This will allow you to make nice even slices.

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 jumbo egg
1/2 cup grated parmesean cheese
1 cup cubed stale good quality bread, soaked in milk
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 lb. pancetta (Italian bacon) or American bacon

Place ground beef and pork in large bowl. Add egg. Squeeze excess milk from the soaked bread and crumble bread into meat and egg. Add grated cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Wash hands thoroughly and then plunge them into the meat and mix until well amalgamated. Do not over mix.

Scrape meat mixture onto a large wooden board and pat into a rectangle, about 1/2 thick. You may then use your imagination for stuffing the brasciole. I used five thin slices of mortadella and provolone, five or six fresh basil leaves, and two hardboiled eggs. Carefully roll up, from the shorter side, the meat and form into a loaf, smoothing over any holes so the stuffing doesn't melt out during the baking.

Place in a heavy casserole dish that does not crowd the loaf. Place slices of pancetts/bacon over the top of the brasciole.

Cook in 350 degree over for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Take out and let cool. Slice when completely cool.

Serve with your own tomatoe sauce.

I also served this with roasted vegetables. Eggplant, roasted red peppers and zucchini, sprinkled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and minced assorted herbs.

Also seen, steamed asparagas with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of parmesean cheese.

This was simple, economical and delicious. I started with penne and homemade tomato sauce made with fresh roma tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and fresh basil.


um. when can i come over for sunday supper?
Did you serve lemon pie for dessert?

This looks way better than any kind of meatloaf my mother used to make, and it looks like it's versatile, too. When you make it with flank steak, is it like the German rouladen?

BTW, I didn't see a picture. Is it just me and my gravelly eyes?
This brings back memories of Sunday dinners when I was growing up. If you have this much food on hand in your refrigerator, how big is it??

By the way, do have a good recipe for stracchiatella?
In our house, we made stracciatella (Roman egg drop soup) with chicken stock, parmesean cheese, egg, salt&pepper and parsley. Heat the stock and mix the cheese, egg, s&p and stir in simmering broth until the egg cooks. Sprinkle with more grated cheese and parsley. That was the basic soup.

Other recipes I've seen add semolina to the egg/cheese mixture.

I belive stracciatella means "little rag" and the soup got its name because the cooked strands of egg look like little rags floating in the soup.

When we had a really fancy meal, a variation of this soup was served, with tiny meatballs and pieces of escarole added to the soup. We called it 'scarole soup. I've seen it in restaurants called "wedding soup."

I'll make it and post it at a later time.
Thanks, Isabella! It's one of those simple soups that's nourishing to the stomach and soul!
I've had Brasciole made with flank steak, but this actually looks and sounds better as a kind of meatloaf!
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