Make Ahead

Beef Rolls in Tomato Sauce (Involtini di Manzo al Pomodoro)

October 14, 2017
5 Ratings
Photo by Emiko
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Involtini come in so many different guises, because the preparation of them often depends on what you have on hand. Instead of the beef, you can use thick slices of eggplants, fried in olive to make them soft and willing to be rolled up. You can add olives to the tomato sauce, or other herbs inside. You can layer a piece of prosciutto inside the involtini too, or a thin omelette of beaten egg. If you don't have Pecorino or Parmesan, use a piece of some other sturdy, good melting cheese. This is a good dish for making in advance—it gives the dish time for flavor-mingling. —Emiko

What You'll Need
  • 8 thin slices of beef or veal
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped finely (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 handful pecorino or parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tin (400 grams or 14 oz) tomato pulp or peeled tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Lay the slices of beef on a chopping board and sprinkle them evenly with the chopped garlic, parsley, cheese and season well with salt and pepper. Roll them up and secure with a toothpick or kitchen string.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet and sear the involtini on all sides until golden brown. Pour over the white wine and let sizzle for a minute or two. Add the garlic, bay leaves and pour over the tomato (if using whole peeled tomatoes, break them up first—some like to cut them with scissors directly in the tin, my mother in law likes to squish them in her hands!). Add a splash of water if necessary and bring to a simmer. Cook the beef rolls in this tomato sauce on a gentle simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Season with salt and pepper along the way. If the sauce is reducing too quickly, add a splash of water. When ready to serve, sprinkle over some more parsley.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alexis Roberto
    Alexis Roberto
  • Emiko
  • elisa

3 Reviews

elisa December 28, 2021
Simple, traditional, easy to make, and absolutely delicious!
Alexis R. November 20, 2017
Hi Emiko! This seems to be the same as what my dad makes and calls (brazhool) braciola (?). We're a family of Italian Americans, so I understand lots of things have been mixed together and lost in translation! Does that sound familiar/is this the same dish? We often eat it on thanksgiving with manicotti :)
Emiko November 24, 2017
It does indeed sound very similar or a dialect version, these "involtini" have a different name in different regions -- in the north, they're often called "fettine", in Naples they're called braciole (plural, or braciola, singular), like in Tuscany.