Spinach and Prosciutto Stuffed Veal Rolls {Braciole di Vitello}

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Chopped spinach flavored with Pecorino Romano cheese and paper thin slices of prosciutto are used as the filling for tender slices of veal scallopini before the veal rolls are simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce in this traditional Italian recipe. My husband and I do not eat a lot of meat at home, but I had picked up a few packages of veal scallopini on sale in anticipation of my daughter and her family visiting this summer that I froze. Unfortunately, they were not able to all come this year, and since I have to start using up whatever is in my freezer as we have just two months left in our stay here in Umbria, I made veal rolls last week. This meat dish is one that I have made many times in the past, and what I like best about it is that it can be prepared ahead of time and reheated if you are planning a big get-together or family celebration. I used frozen spinach in this recipe as it is all ready for you and just needs to be drained well before using. You can use your favorite prepared tomato sauce in place of mine, though I will share with you my quick go-to sauce that I use for dishes such as this one. The prosciutto serves two purposes in this recipe. It adds flavor and also prevents any of the spinach filling to fall through any thin areas of the veal.

I would suggest serving this dish with a side of polenta, mashed potatoes, or even pasta along with a green vegetable. You can either assemble the veal rolls, brown them and store them in the sauce in the refrigerator to bake before serving, or cook them completely, allow them to cool and then refrigerate overnight. To reheat, first allow the rolls to come to room temperature, then warm at in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes. My scallopini was not an even thickness, and when that happens I like to use a meat mallet to pound it to an equal thickness to ensure the meat cooks evenly, and the final dish is very tender. If you prefer, you could cook this dish on top of the stove in a heavy bottomed pan at a simmer for about the same amount of time.

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2016

Spinach and Prosciutto Stuffed Veal Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 8 Thin Slices Veal Scallopini
  • 8 Thin Slices Prosciutto
  • 2 Cups Cooked, Chopped Spinach
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 8 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided

For The Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

Directions:

  1. Use a meat mallet if needed to even out the thickness of the scallopini.
  2. Use your hands, or a nut bag to squeeze out as much liquid from the spinach as possible, then place in a bowl.
  3. Add the cheese and two tablespoons of oil to the spinach and stir to mix.
  4. Season the spinach mixture with salt and pepper.
  5. Lay out each slice of veal, then cover with a slice of prosciutto.
  6. You can either cut the prosciutto to fit, or fold it over.
  7. Divide the spinach filling equally onto each slice of veal spreading evenly.
  8. At the narrowest end, tightly roll up the veal and square with two toothpicks, or if you prefer, tie with kitchen twine.
  9. Place the veal rolls on a plate and refrigerate until needed.
  10. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until lightly smoking, then cook the onions, stirring often until translucent, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  11. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two or until fragrant.
  12. Add the tomatoes, parsley, oregano, basil, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  13. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 m minutes.
  14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  15. In a frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil and heat over medium heat until lightly smoking.
  16. Brown the veal rolls on all sides, turning as needed.
  17. Place a scoop of sauce into the bottom of an oven-proof casserole dish that will hold all of the veal rolls.
  18. Place the veal rolls side by side into the dish, then cover with the remaining sauce.
  19. Cover casserole dish, then bake until very tender, about 45 minutes.
  20. Remove toothpicks or twine, then serve warm with sauce.