Sicilians love to roll things – beef, fish, eggplant – and these Involtini di Manzo (aka beef rolls) are very common everywhere on the island. There are many versions of these delicious rolls – some with cheese, others without. This version is my personal favorite – filled with raisins and pinenuts and gooey provolone cheese. I love the contrast of the sweetness of the raisins with the sharpness of the cheese.
The beef rolls are super simple to make and best of all, they are perfect for Valentine’s Day. ❤️ (Did you know that we can thank the Italians for Valentine’s Day?? Saint Valentine (San Valentino) is Italian!) Roll them in advance and come dinner time, put on that romantic music, uncork that special bottle and pop them in the oven.
Have your butcher slice the meat for you. You want 14 slices approximately 6 inches long by 4 inches wide. In my area, we can readily find this already sliced at the market (commonly called ‘braciole’ meat) but the slices are typically long. If too long, you will only need 7 long slices as you can slice them crosswise (see photo). You want approximately 1 pound of beef.
These are great served alongside simple sautéed broccolini or green beans and super delicious alongside creamy mashed potatoes. And if Valentine’s Day is not your gig? These are also great at room temperature so cook yourself up a special meal and enjoy them at your leisure. They are pretty addictive so suspect these won’t last long no matter when you serve them.
Join us this week on Instagram as we feature other OIT recipes that are perfect for that special someone!
Wishing everyone a Buon San Valentino!! ❤️
Tanti baci, xx
These tasty Sicilian beef rolls, filled with provolone, raisins and pine nuts, are the perfect main course for a dinner party. You make them ahead and then just pop them in the oven when company arrives!
For the filling:
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup fine breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated pecorino
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the involtini:
- 3 ounces provolone cheese
- 12 fresh bay leaves (if unable to find, use dry)
- 12 red onion wedges
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 14 slices (about 1 pound) beef top round, sliced very thin (See Cook’s Note)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Make the filling: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and gently cook until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and allow mixture to cool.
2. Place the raisins and pine nuts in a large bowl. Add in the breadcrumbs and pecorino cheese. Add in the cooled onion/garlic mixture, parsley, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Stir to combine. Drizzle in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and stir until incorporated.
3. Make the rolls: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Have all the components in front of you so you are ready to roll. Cut the provolone crosswise into 14 long sticks about ½ inch thick. (Don’t worry if they break as you can piece together when you roll.) Gather your bay leaves and your onion slices.
5. Find a baking dish that will hold the rolls somewhat tightly together, approximately 8 inches by 10 inches will work nicely. Drizzle the bottom generously with olive oil.
6. Lay a slice of meat on your work surface and spread about 1 very heaping tablespoon of filling on the meat. Begin to roll the slice and at about the halfway point, add in a stick of provolone cheese. Roll tightly, tucking in the sides and ends to seal the filling inside.
7. Place the roll in the baking dish, tuck a slice of onion and a bay leaf alongside. Repeat the process until you have rolled all the meat.
8. Drizzle the top of the meat with olive oil. Give it a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake until the rolls are cooked through and brown on top, about 20 minutes. Serve hot from the oven (but also very tasty at room temperature).
Cook’s Note: Have your butcher slice the meat for you. You want 14 slices approximately 6 inches long by 4 inches wide. In my area, we can readily find this already sliced at the market (commonly called ‘braciole’ meat) but the slices are long. If too long, you will only need 7 long slices as you can slice them crosswise (see photo). You want approximately 1 pound of beef.
- Cook Time: 20 mins