We do not stuff the braciole with prosciutto, instead we crisp it up in sage oil and let it stand on its own, caramelized, salty and crunchy. Fried sage is added to our ricotta dumpling dough and gives a distinct earthy flavor. Though this is a multi-layered process, once the braciole is braising everything else can be prepared easily.
8 thin slices beef round or flank steak, (approx. 1 1/2 lbs.) pounded 1/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons olive oil (reserve 2 tablespoons for browning the meat)
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shaved parmigiano reggiano or extra sharp provolone
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup flour
1 cup red wine
3 1/2 cups good quality beef broth
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 lb prosciutto, sliced thin
15 sage leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup flour
1 cup ricotta (strained for at least 1/2 hour-to remove excess moisture)
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt.
extra flour for coating dumplings
1. Braciole: Coat the beef with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then lie each beef slice flat. Combine the salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon zest and garlic, sprinkle this mixture on the top side of beef slices. Then layer evenly with cheese and parsley. Roll each and tie with butcher's string or secure with toothpicks. Dredge the rolls in flour.
2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat on all sides. Turning each side as soon as it browns.
3. Over a medium heat and add 1 cup of red wine and reduce by half.
4. Add the beef broth, bay leaf and thyme sprigs- bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender, Stir occasionally being careful not to burn the bottom of pan. Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
5. Add the balsamic vinegar and marinara sauce, cook an additional 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
6. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the sage leaves until crisp, about 20-30 seconds. Remove the sage leaves, reserve 6 -8 leaves for garnish and crush the rest, set aside. Reserve and leave oil in pan.
7. Dumplings: Prepare the ricotta sage dumpling dough: Mix Ricotta, crushed sage leaves, egg and egg yolks until smooth. Gently mix in the flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Dough will be sticky, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
8. Half fill a large pot with water and 2 teaspoons of salt, bring to a rolling boil and reduce water to a low simmer.
9. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and coat with flour roll into approximately 1 inch ropes. Cut into 2 inch pieces, coating with more flour if sticky.
10. Simmer the dumplings in water for approximately 4 minutes or until dumpling rises to the top. Scoop out with a slotted spoon.
9. Heat the reserved sage oil and fry the prosciutto until crispy, set aside. Add the dumplings to the remaining hot sage/prosciutto oil- tossing once gently-just to warm.
Transfer the Braciole and Ricotta Dumplings to a platter and top with crunchy prosciutto and reserved sage leaves.
Suggestion: Serve with Creamy (Homemade) Ricotta. The Ricotta Dumplings can be served with your favorite tomato sauce.