Braciole: Recreating my Grandfather’s Italian Recipe

Papa braciole italian recipe


I remember Papa, my Italian grandfather, making braciole. He was a first generation Italian immigrant who lived most of his life in Boston, and later retired to Florida. I grew up around the corner. I don’t remember eating this as a kid, but I remember going over to his house and he would be entrenched in making braciole in the kitchen.

It’s basically a roulade simmered in tomato sauce. I went looking to recreate his Italian recipe but no one had it, so from doing a little research and putting together what everyone remembered, this is what we came up with. It was delicious and simple! In my research, I learned that braciole was an Italian-American dish. In Italy, you would call it involtini.


italian recipe braciole

  • ¾ cup Parmesan, grated
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped
  • 1 pound flank, skirt, top round steak, pounded thin
  • Wondra flour*
  • olive oil
  • Mamma Agata’s Tomato Sauce**
  1. Mix together the parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil. This will be your filling.
  2. Lay out the flattened beef pieces. Distribute the filling evenly over the surface of the beef but leave ¼ inch around the edge.
  3. Roll the beef tightly like a jellyroll. Secure each roll with a few pieces of butcher twine.
  4. Coat each roll with a thin layer of Wondra* flour. This will allow them to brown nicely without sticking to the pan.
  5. Heat the tomato sauce in a large saucepan and heat a skillet with olive oil to medium over medium heat. Brown the rolls on all sides in the skillet.
  6. As each roll is browned, add it to the pot of sauce. When all of the rolls have been added, cover and simmer for about an hour.
**You can use all-purpose flour, but Wondra flour is easiest because it does not clump.

**Get Mamma Agata's Sauce Recipe at

We were fortunate to find round steak pounded flat for scallopini so there was no effort in banging the meat flat. The easiest way would be to use a meat mallet. Since we don’t have one, we’d place it between sheets of wax paper, plastic wrap, or in a ziplock bag, and then proceed to beat it with a rolling pin.

Get Recipe: Mamma Agata’s Tomato Sauce

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