Recipe: Veal Involtini with a Spicy Red Sauce.

Veal Involtini is one of my favourite dishes in my repertoire because it is simple and quick to make, it always tastes great and you can use pretty much any kind of fresh seasonal ingredients to punctuate the dish. Normally I would do this dish with a simple side salad but i can leave it up to you. Pasta works, as well as risotto, but that all depend on how heavy you want the meal to be. Involtini is kind of a choose your own flavour profile and go with it dish. I love this particular flavour profile because fennel bulb produces such a subtle anise flavour which still seems to shine through the flavour of the asparagus and the cheese as well as the sauce. But it’s never overpoweringly fenneley. And the textures that come into play in the involtini is really great. If you like simple light summer fare this is a perfect dish. Also I am teaching you how to make a homemade red sauce from scratch in 15 minutes. So you can stop buying the junk in the bottle.

The Involtini


4 pieces of Veal Scallopini(Top Round)*

4 Slices of Prosciutto

1 Fennel Bulb (diced)

4 pieces of asparagus

1 cup of pecorino romano cheese(Grated)

2 tbs of lemon thyme.

Directions: Take your pounded out veal and salt the meat. Lay the meat out and begin to assemble the filling of the involtini. First line the veal with the prosciutto then at one end place your asparagus, fennel, cheese and thyme. The hard part is getting the right amount of filling so that you can roll a nice neat meat burrito** type contraption. Use toothpicks to hold the involtini together. Do that another three times. This may take you a few tries to master so just be patient. Then on a medium heated and oiled barbecue grill, put the involtini on and grill until the meat has been cooked through and the filling begins to ooze out. Do not grill too hot as any connective tissue in the veal will begin to warm the pounded out meat and it may become tough.

The Sauce


1 large can of diced tomatoes.

3 tbs oilve oil

2 cloves of garlic (smashed)

1 onion chopped

2 serrano chilis(Finely chopped with about 1/3 of the seeds left in)

1 leaf of sage

Directions: In a sauce pan add olive oil, onions and salt. Sweat onions until translucent. Add your garlic and cook down for 2-3 minutes. Add your chilis and cook those down. Then add your tomatoes and sage leaf. Stir everything together. And simmer for about fifteen minutes, stirring every few minutes to make sure nothing it sticking.

Putting it together:

This is not tough. Get your involtini(or involtino if you only want to have one) and cover it with the sauce. Make a quick herb salad with a vinaigrette and some nice bread to sop up the spicy sauce with. This is a great casual dish for a summer out on the patio.

*The veal should be pounded out to be about 1/8 of an inch thick. To pound the veal put it between two pieces of saran wrap and pound with the flat side of a meat hammer or use a rolling pin, until the desired thickness is reached.

**Not my word. Mario Batali calls Involtini a meat burrito. Which brings up mental images that you will have seared into your brain for years.