“When I was growing up, my mom would always ask what she could cook for me on my birthday. Almost always I asked for Braciole served with pasta. Sausage is a perfect companion for this classic dish. Ask your butcher to slice the meat thinly, about ½”. Then pound it yourself, being careful not to tear the meat. Enjoy this hearty dish with your family, and think of how much I enjoyed it when my mom cooked it for me.”  Frank Isernio

Serves an entire family, and then some.

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  1. Place the beef between two pieces of waxed paper or parchment. Pound carefully with a flat-faced meat pounder or mallet until the meat is no more than ¼” thick. Remove the waxed paper and rub the meat with olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Assemble the Braciole: Make the filling by combining the garlic, cheese, parsley, eggs, and salt & pepper to taste. Place equal portions of the mixture on each of the beef slices. Roll each slice lengthwise so that it is long and narrow, then tie together every two inches or so with kitchen string. Cut rolls as necessary to fit into pot.
  3. Cook the Braciole in a heavy-bottomed 6 or 7 quart pot with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat, turning the rolls frequently with tongs until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  4. Brown the sausages on the outside, 4 minutes per side, for about 8 minutes, then remove and set aside. Sausages do not need to be cooked all the way through.
  5. Sauté the onions and 2 chopped garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and raise the heat to a gentle boil while scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
  6. When the wine is reduced by half (1 – 2 minutes), return the Braciole to the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and torn basil leaves. Bring to a gentle steady simmer so that the sauce just barely bubbles. Stir often and cook uncovered for one hour. Add the browned sausages and continue cooking for another hour.
  7. Remove the Braciole and sausages. Keep warm in a heated covered dish or platter.
  8. Continue to cook the sauce for another 30 minutes to thicken. Reserve one cup sauce and keep warm.
  9. Meanwhile, boil pasta in salted water. Drain and add to heated sauce. Integrate well and serve with Braciole and sausage. Pour reserved cup of sauce over the meats. Serve with freshly-grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
  10. Buon appetito!

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