Probably the thing I adore about Tuscan cooking is the simplicity. This is a recipe that my husband grew up with and his mother, Tina, was the Queen of simple. She always taught me, spend more time shopping and less time cooking.
People are always amazed and the short list of ingredients and quick cooking of most of the recipes in my cookbook. This is a perfect example.
There are many variations of involtini, meat rolls, from these small ones, to a larger bracciole style in Naples.
Often, the saltimbocca in Rome is served rolled instead of flat. My mother-in-law's version is a poor man's saltimbocca, beef scaloppine topped with a sage leaf and mortadella ( from Bologna called Boloney in America) slice instead of veal with sage and prosciutto.
Another of my favorite versions, is in the photo above, raw artichoke quarters are places inside the involtini and cook while stewing the meat.
Try it with or without the artichokes:
The beef bracciole are cut from the rump, in Italy, we simply tell the butcher what we are cooking and he chooses the correct cut for us. In America once, I was lucky enough to have an Italian American butcher who remembered his grandmother's recipe for involtini and hand cut the slices from a precut Chateaubriand steak. It is a rump roast cut. If they are too thick, you need to pound them out a little thinner yourself.
Top with fresh sage leaves.
Then place the mortadella ( boloney) in the artichokes, if you are using them. ( some mom's use boloney and cheese).
Then roll and toothpick the ends, brown the involtini in a little extra virgin olive oil in the pan you will cook them in. When lightly browned, top with pureed tomato sauce.
I like to add a garlic clove to the oil when I brown the meat. Let the meat cook for about 20 minutes and remove from the sauce.
In springtime, we find a fun vegetable in the market called Agretti. They get lightly poached in salt water , then drained and finished in the tomato sauce where the meat was cooked.
You can use spinach or chard.
Serve the involtini on the cooked greens.
Do you remember the Sicilian version I did ages ago? Same idea, just a very interesting filling!
Let me know how you like it!
At my butcher's I can buy boneless rolled stuffed chicken and rabbit with some incredible fillings. I will show you later!
Don't forget, if you are coming to Chianti, I have my Chianti APP for sale, both on Itunes and for androids on Google play. The link is on the side!