According to ‘Il Grande Ricettario della Cucina Italiana’ veal involtini with white beans is a recipe that originated in Abruzzo. It differs from other kinds of involtini in using minced meat for the filing and adding of beans to the tomato sauce. The resulting stew offers an interesting combination of flavours and textures cooked up as an all in one dish with no need for pasta or potatoes on the side.
Like most other slow food stews involtini with white beans gets better after a good night’s rest. Therefore I cook a generous portion during the weekend, and enjoy a fast and fabulous home made meal on busy week nights.
8 super thin slices of rose veal or young beef
300 g dried white butter beans
150 g minced pork and veal
50 g dried mushrooms
50 grated pecorino
50 g bacon
2 cloves of garlic
500 ml tomato paste
Fresh parsley and rosemary
Olive oil, flour, salt and pepper
Soak the white beans for 6 hours and boil them until tender. It will take more or less 75 minutes depending on the age of the beans.
Soak the dried mushrooms and chop them finely.
Fry the mushrooms in a little olive oil along with crushed garlic and chopped parsley.
Combine minced meat with mushrooms and garlic, grated pecorino cheese, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper.
Add egg and form the meat mixture in eight small balls.
Place a meatball on each slice of meat, fold the meat into packages and tie them up with kitchen string. (In Italy, every butcher sells meat in perfect, thin involtini slices, but they are almost unobtainable in Denmark. I normally buy a veal chunck. Cut it into half kilo pieces and keep it in the freezer. It’s quite easy to cut thin slices by hand, when the meat is half frozen, and hammer each slice into shape).
Roll the meat packages in flour and brown them in olive oil along with the chopped bacon.
Pour tomato paste over the meat and a little water or red wine to adjust the thickness of the sauce.
Let the course simmer for at least 30 minutes before adding the cooked beans.
Veal involtini with white beans should be served hot with a slice of good bread to mop up the sauce.