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Involtini al sugo (meat parcels in tomato sauce)

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

Common in any Italian family, these parcels are seldom seen in restaurants or described in English/American recipe websites… Yet, they are relatively quick to make, cheap and a guaranteed success! Fantastic also if left to rest for a day.


Ingredients:

  • 600 gr of thinly sliced beef

  • 200 gr Fontina cheese cut in slices (or other melting cheese such as Provola/Provolone)

  • 200 gr cooked ham slices

  • Ground black pepper

  • Dry sage

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

  • 3 pinches of dried oregano

  • 3 pinches of dried basil (or a handful of chopped fresh basil)

  • 1 white onion

  • Half a glass of white wine (red could also work)

  • Olive oil

  • A thick slice of butter

You will also need:

  • Cocktail sticks to close the parcels

  • A cooking hammer to flatten the meat down and break the fibres, or a rolling pin

  • Some cling film or baking paper

Method:

  • Lay down a single slice of meat, cover it with the cling film and gently hammer it a little to make it thinner and spread out - take care not to tear it and create holes, try to hammer it so that it keeps a good shape (square, rectangular)

  • Sprinkle the meat with black pepper and sage

  • Place in the middle of each slice one cheese slice and on top a slice of ham – trim both to size if you need to (leave a “border” of pure meat on all sides)


  • Fold the meat as shown and then roll it up. Close the parcel with 2 toothpicks.


  • Chop the onion in small pieces and place it in a large pan to soften up in olive oil and butter

  • When the onion is ready (soft and a little golden) add your parcels to the pan (tightly packed) and stir fry on high heat – 3 minutes then turn your parcels and continue for another 3 minutes

  • As soon as they take on colour, sprinkle with some oregano and basil, add the wine and let it evaporate

  • Lower the temperature to medium-low and add the tin of chopped tomatoes, spreading it evenly all over your pan. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 10 minutes

  • Turn the parcels over, mix the sauce a little, and let it simmer for another 10 minutes

  • Take the lid off the pan, and let it simmer until the sauce has thickened (it will mostly be absorbed by the parcels)

  • Your “involtini” are ready now – serve with boiled potatoes



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