Sicilian Involtini With Ham and Cheese
In Sicily, where I learned to make these savory bundles, cooks make them at home, or buy them in butcher shops, ready for the oven. Fillings vary, but this one with prosciutto cotto and cheese is a favorite. The rolls are threaded on skewers with bay leaves and bread slices, showered with bread crumbs and olive oil, then baked.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 8veal scallops (about 3 ounces each), sliced or pounded to 1/8-inch thickness
- Salt and pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- ½cup finely diced red onion, plus 1 small onion, cut into rough 1-inch squares
- 6slices day-old peasant bread, roughly chopped in 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- 4ounces prosciutto cotto (cooked ham), cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 3/4 cup)
- 2eggs, beaten
- 4ounces caciocavallo or Provolone cheese, diced small (about 3/4 cup)
- 2tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
- ¼cup chopped parsley
- Bay leaves, fresh or dried
- 10slices bread, cut into 2-by-3-inch rectangles
- 1cup dry homemade bread crumbs
- Pinch of dried oregano
Step 1Season veal scallops on both sides with salt and pepper, and set aside. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2In a skillet set over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Step 3Add bread cubes and ham, and toss well to coat. Cook for 1 minute more, then transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in eggs, cheese, marjoram and parsley.
Step 4Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling on each veal slice, depending on size. Fold sides over the filling and roll each piece into a little parcel. Set aside, seam-side-down.
Step 5Thread the parcels onto skewers: Start with a rectangle of bread, a bay leaf and a strip of red onion. Next, place a meat parcel. Continue in this fashion until skewer is full — you’ll get 3 or 4 parcels per skewer. Secure by threading another skewer parallel to the first one. Place completed skewers on a baking sheet or in a dish.
Step 6Dip a brush in olive oil and generously daub the involtini all over. Sprinkle generously with bread crumbs. Add a small sprinkle of oregano. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until meat is cooked through and crumbs are golden. To serve, transfer the meat rolls to a platter.