Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spinach Stuffed Braciole with Pasta

Make Ahead Meal. I made this recipe almost as written the first time around. I didn't use pine nuts because they were super expensive. However, it may have just been the brand of frozen spinach I used, but it was a little too "dirty" tasting for me. Next time I will start with fresh and see if that makes a difference. It was great dish, tons of leftoevers.


1 (10-ounce) box chopped frozen organic spinach

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons dried currants or chopped raisins

2 to 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

4 (8-ounce) pieces thin-cut top round veal or beef pounded very thin

Special equipment: Kitchen twine


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 large fresh bay leaf

A few sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped

A few sprigs fresh sage, thinly sliced

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups chicken stock-in-a-box

1(28-ounce) large can diced tomatoes
1 box of your favorite wide pasta

1 tablespoon butter

A generous handful fresh sweet basil leaves, torn or shredded

A small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


For the braciole: Defrost, drain, and wring the frozen organic spinach dry in a clean kitchen towel and separate with your fingertips while adding to a mixing bowl. Season the spinach with salt, black pepper, and a little nutmeg. Add the chopped hard-boiled eggs, currants, pine nuts, finely chopped garlic, and cheese to the bowl and gently combine. Season the meat with salt and pepper and arrange each steak with one of the narrow ends near you. Divide the filling evenly among the meat slices. Scatter the filling over the meat leaving a 1/2-inch edge or border on the sides. Fold the edge over the filling and tuck in the edges as you roll each bundle to secure the filling. Wrap and roll the remaining bundles and secure with kitchen twine to cover the ends and middle, like wrapping a package.

Heat a large Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil a couple of turns of the pan over medium-high heat. Brown the meat bundles 6 to 8 minutes to evenly caramelize the meat all over.
For the sauce: Remove the bundles from the pan and add 1 tablespoon more olive oil, give a turn of the pan to coat. Add the chopped carrots, onions, sliced garlic, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Let the vegetables cook 5 minutes to soften, then stir in the chopped rosemary and sage for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and stir to develop the fragrance, then add the white wine and scrape up the pan drippings. Stir in the chicken stock and tomatoes. Break up the tomatoes with a spoon or potato masher. Bring the sauce to a bubble, add the meat back to the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook 2 and a half hours more, stirring occasionally.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the water.

Remove the meat bundles to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
Drain the pasta and return to a hot pot. Add 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces, and half of the sauce, toss to combine, adding a little starchy cooking water to make it all come together for you.
Cut the string from the meat and serve the meat dotted with more sauce and sprinkled with fresh parsley on large dinner plates with hot pappardelle pasta topped with fresh basil and some shaved Parm alongside.


dry white wine said...

I cook this recipe yesterday for my kids. I used fresh spinach and Ola! It tastes great! My kids love it very much. Thanks for sharing this recipe!