Many years ago I found this recipe in a food magazine though I’m not sure which one. I was intrigued and instead of pulling the recipe and adding it to the hundreds of recipes I stick into a “to-be-tried” pile, I immediately prepared it. It was superb and soon became my “go-to” recipe for entertaining my foodie friends. And when they asked me what the dish was called, I told them “Braciola” pronouncing it “brackee-ola”.
Then everything changed (keep in mind this was years before the Food Network). I was entertaining Basil, the cousin of Spence’s best friend. I told him I was preparing “brackee-ola”. Basil stood next to me, watching the preparation of the stuffing, the rolling of the steak. He said it looked remarkably like a dish his Italian aunt had made for years.
“What was it called?” I inquired.
“Brah-jool” was the way he pronounced it.
The wheels in my head were clicking…..”how is it spelled?” I asked with trepidation.
He wasn’t sure. I showed him the recipe. “That’s it” he exclaimed.
Fast forward, I know the pronunciation and the Food Network is now a part of my life meaning that I hear Giada and Rachael talk about Braciola (or the more common spelling Braciole) on a regular basis. Isn’t that the way it goes? Now that I’ve cleared that up, here’s the recipe:
Braciola with Pasta 8 servings
- 1/2 c italian breadcrumbs
- 1/2 c chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/3 c grated parmesan or romano cheese
- 3 T capers
- 2 T toasted pine nuts
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 t extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed (with garlic press)
- flank steak, ask the butcher for the thickest one & have it butterflied
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 1/2 c marinara sauce
- 1/2 c dry red wine
- 8 ounces cooked pasta (16 oz uncooked) like fusilli
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a bowl, set aside.
Unwrap the steak and unfold it (like a book) on the butcher paper. Use a meat mallet and flatten it to a uniform thickness. Cut 3-4 pieces of kitchen twine and slide under the steak as shown:
Spread the bread crumb mixture over the steak, leaving a bit of the edge uncovered. Roll up “jelly-roll” style, tie with twine. Refrigerate for at least a few hours, it’s even better if refrigerated overnight.
Set the meat out at least one hour before cooking. In a large Dutch Oven, coat the bottom of the pan with the olive oil and set to a medium high heat. Place the meat in, turning to brown well on all four sides. Remove from pan. Add marinara and wine to pan, deglazing and bringing the sauce to a boil, add the steak and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, turning the steak in the sauce a few times.
Remove the meat and allow to rest a few minutes, remove the twine. Put the sauce into a serving bowl.
Slice and plate, I added more flat leaf parsley to garnish.
Serve the pasta, topped with a slice of the Braciola, then top with sauce. Open a bottle of red wine and enjoy!