Spaghetti with tomato sauce and "braciole"

"Braciole" are literally thin slices of meat for pan frying. But in the Italian-American jargon they take on a whole new meaning... frequently referred to as "brajols" (with a soft "j" sound), they are a staple in the Sunday dinner tomato sauce on most Italian-American tables! In Italy these are better known as "involtini" and may or may not be cooked in tomato sauce.
Today I am making my sauce with "braciole", but without the other typical meat ingredients - meatballs and sausage.

Ingredients for 2 servings:
For the braciole or involtini
4 slices of lean beef, pork or veal (I am using pork slices taken from the rib roast)
Grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1 small can of plum tomatoes in juice or puree
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
Fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

 Trim any excess fat from the meat slices, gently pound them with a meat mallet and season them as follows, with salt, pepper, finely chopped garlic, chopped parsley, grated Parmesan cheese:

spread the slice of meat with a scant 1/2 tsp. of the chopped garlic, about a teaspoon of chopped parsley, about a teaspoon of grated cheese, lightly salt and pepper.
Then tightly roll up the slice of meat and secure with a toothpick.

Pour a couple of tablesppons of extra virgin olive oil into a medium fry pan, heat the oil over medium heat and then add the "involtini", a small onion and a clove of garlic
 Brown the "involtini", the onion and the garlic over medium heat.
 When the meat is browned, puree the tomatoes in an electric blender and add to the fry pan with the fresh basil, salt and pepper to tast.
 Cook the sauce over medium/low heat, stirring occasionally, and allow the sauce to thicken
 When the sauce comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the meat is tender. This should take about 30 minutes.
 Bring a large pot of water to boil, measure out the spaghetti (I used about 2/3 lb)
 and when the water comes to a boil, put the spaghetti in to boil. Cook until the spaghetti is al dente.
Drain the spaghetti and, serve with the sauce, the "involtini" and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

As Julia Child would have said.. had she spoken Italian...

                                               BUON APPETITO!!!


  1. i am going to make this for the fam soon!

  2. My family also used chopped mushrooms and basil in the filling. The braciole were tied tightly with white string and boiled in the gravy. No onion!

    1. sounds good, but I would be afraid that the mushrooms would make the sauce watery - do you add tomato paste to thicken itup?