Stuffed Beef in Tomato Sauce (Involtini in Sugo)
This main course, a classic Roman secondo, calls for rolling thin cuts of beef around a mixture of garlic, Pecorino Romano, basil, and prosciutto; braising them until tender; and finishing them in a quick tomato sauce.
Enlarge Image Credit: Andr¿ Baranowski4 4-oz. beef scaloppine from top round,
pounded to 3⁄16" thickness
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper,
5 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
4 thin slices prosciutto
7 fresh basil leaves
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
1⁄4 cup tomato paste
1⁄2 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes,
preferably San Marzano, undrained and puréed
1. Working with one piece of beef at a time, season beef with salt and pepper and rub with 1⁄2 tsp. garlic. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. Pecorino; top with 1 piece of prosciutto and a basil leaf. Working from one short edge of beef, roll beef into a cylinder. Secure with toothpicks. Repeat to make 4 rolls; set aside.
2. Heat oil in a 12" skillet over high heat. Add beef; cook, turning, until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium; add onions and remaining garlic; cook until soft, 5–6 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add wine; return pan to medium-high heat. Cook until wine has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Add beef and remaining basil; bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Transfer beef to 2 plates and remove toothpicks; cover with foil. Add tomatoes to skillet, bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper. To serve, uncover beef and ladle tomato sauce over the top.
Pairing Note A big red with sweet fruit, such as the 2005 Amarone Classico "Costasera" from Masi ($64), will hold its own with this saucy secondo. — David Rosengarten