Monday, February 20, 2012

Pinwheels, Cartwheels, What's The Difference?

Tonight for dinner I made spaghetti with a quick tomato and basil sauce and after seeing beef top round steak for braciole in the grocery store (it seems they only sell it this way - sliced and ready to make into braciole - in New York), decided to make some braciole to go with it. Braciole is something that always reminds me of my childhood. My grandmother always made it, and so did my father.

After pounding the beef top round pretty thin, I stuffed it with chopped garlic, parsley and Locatelli cheese (pecorina-romano) - laying out the flattened beef and sprinkling each ingredient in layers - rolled it up, secured them with toothpicks and browned them in some olive oil.

While those were browning, I started the tomato sauce by sauteing some garlic in olive oil, throwing a few red pepper flakes in because Ed likes a little spice. Once the garlic was translucent, I added in my can of tomatoes. I bought Cento brand whole peeled tomatoes and just crushed them with my hand as I put them in. I seasoned it with a little salt and pepper, added a little bit of water and let it simmer.

After the braciole was browned, I also added it to the sauce. In order for the braciole to be its most tender, you'll want to let it simmer for about two hours - that'll add a real nice meat flavor to your sauce too - but I didn't have two hours, so even though it was good, the meat was a little less tender than it could have been. Just before I was ready to serve it, I took the braciole out, added some fresh basil and simmered for about five minutes, letting that flavor incorporate a bit.

Before serving, I added my pasta and tossed it all together. When I plated it, I sliced the braciole, laying the pinwheels on top of the mound of pasta and then sprinkled it with some freshly grated Locatelli cheese.

Ed was over the moon - he loved the fresh taste of the tomato basil sauce, he loves pasta and he does cartwheels when there is meat included in a meal. I totally scored!

You can score too - get the recipe to print out HERE.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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Gil said...

Mouth is now watering! I think that Anne also puts pinoli and raisons. Yum....

The Daily Rant said...

Gil: I just saw a recipe for braciole with pinoli nuts and raisins, which is something my grandmother used to put in her meatballs, but I don't like that as much. Although, I haven't had meatballs (or braciole) with pinoli and raisins since I was a kid - I should try it again, maybe my adult palette will like it.

Does Anne make meatballs with ground pork and beef? And does she use breadcrumbs or soaked Italian bread? I think meatballs are next on my list. :)

Gil said...

She uses ground pork and beef. I seem to remember reading that some people put ground veal into the mix too. I think that it is breadcrumbs. She also makes two shapes of meatballs round and egg shaped one has pinoli and raisons, the other plain.

The Daily Rant said...

Gil: I think my grandmother (father's mother) did ground pork, beef and veal. I'll have to ask my mother. She also used to soak Italian bread in milk and squeeze it out - using that instead of breadcrumbs. And the absolute BEST part was that she fried them in olive oil. I can smell it now....DELISH.

ELH said...

Salena, Ed's a very lucky man having you whipping up all those delicious the pics, i can taste the pasta from here..any garlic bread and red wine with those awesome meals??

The Daily Rant said...

ELH: He's VERY lucky! But then again, he kinda spoils me with stuff I like, so it's the least I can do! We did not have garlic bread - which is his favorite, but I never think about making it because growing up we NEVER had garlic bread, we just had fresh Italian bread - by the time he asks if I made it, it's too late because the meal is on the table! As for the wine - can't have it in the truck, but if we're out to dinner and not working, Ed will usually have a glass of red.

If you ever see us on the road, you're invited to dinner! Last night's meal was amazing too - Lemon Basil roasted chicken breasts with Fingerling Potatoes tossed in Dill and Butter. I forgot to take pictures, so there won't be a post unless I make it again! :)

kathy said...


Good Day, i have been trying to create a nice blog post
and i saw yours and i found it very interesting keep up
the good work i'll be back for more


ELH said...

Thanks Salena for the invite....hopefully we can meet someday,i'd really like to you both..e

Italy in 2015 said...

Salena! Thanks for your encouragement! I just read all your words you wish you'd said and I love them all! So me!!

It is with a bit of shame and embarrassment that I submit to you a link to my "blog." I've all of ONE post on it. I plan on remedying that in the very near future as we've taken up the dream again with renewed vigor due to recent encouragements...wink wink nudge nudge. So here goes...