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.
- 4 ( 4-oz.) beef scaloppine from top round, pounded to 3⁄16" thickness
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 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 pureed
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.
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