I am one of those people who think pressure cookers are brilliant, not uncool at all. I realise, however, that some people do not own a pressure cooker even though they might not think badly of them. So here is a repeat recipe for how to make ‘involtini di carne’ (meat rolls or meat wraps) using an ordinary saucepan as opposed to a pressure cooker (as in my previous post https://myhomefoodthatsamore.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/how-to-make-basic-involtini).
One of the reasons I enjoy making involtini is that you get a pasta sauce as well as the meat rolls to serve as a main dish.
To begin with, we have carrots and celery and slices of mortadella as well as the thin slices of beef:
Cut the carrots and celery sticks into smallish stick-like shapes.
Lay one slice of mortadella onto the slice of meat and add some carrot and celery as in the photo above. You could pat the meat with a tiny amount of live oil and then sprinkle some salt too.Think in terms of ‘flaps’ now. Fold the meat into a ‘flap’ at one end, as in the photo above, and then fold along the sides, and finally roll it all up.
Here are are all the involtini, all rolled up. Some have two toothpicks instead of one … that’s all right.
Here are some fresh cherry tomatoes …And here are some good-quality bottled tomatoes …I chopped the fresh tomatoes in half.Gently cook some sliced garlic in a large saucepan with a good drizzle of olive oil.Add the involtini, sprinkle salt all over them, and some pepper too.Brown the involtini on quite a high heat, turning them over so that they brown all over.Then add the tomatoes.And now it’s time to simmer the involtini in the tomato sauce. They need to braise for about one hour. It’s probably a good idea to cover the saucepan for the first half hour. Then taste, add a teeny amount of sugar if necessary, and more salt and pepper.Here are the cooked involtini, not looking particularly fetching. Looks in this case, however, aren’t everything — it’s the taste we are after! Anyway, for now, let us leave the involtini and turn to the pasta.Here is the sauce, which has been enriched by the involtini cooking in it. Reserve some of this sauce to serve the involtini later on: say about two cupfulls. Set aside.Get the water boiling …
Have your fettuccine or other egg pasta ready …
Cook the fettuccine until done (usually less than 5 minutes, in the case of egg pasta) and then transfer them directly into the large saucepan with the sauce.
It takes a bit of energy to mix it all in. If the sauce seems like it is drying out, add a ladleful of the cooking water.Sprinkle plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese all over … and serve! Your pasta is your first course.Pour the remaining sauce over the meat rolls and serve them as your main dish.I like to sprinkle some fresh herbs over them.And the next day, you might even have some leftovers. Heat them up gently before serving. It’s okay to reheat the involtini once. I’ve never frozen involtini, but I expect that is do-able too.