I usually know early in the day what I’d like to make for dinner. I don’t make a game plan for the whole week, but by the time the afternoon rolls around, I’m formulating the meal in my head. There are the occasional days when I’m uninspired and if we had good take out near by we’d probably be ordering something, but the fact is that we never get food to go. In the end I come up with something, maybe a simple pasta dish, but definitely better than anything we could buy in our neighborhood!
Yesterday was one of those days. I was clueless about what to make and the only thing I knew was that I was not leaving the house to go to the store. Whatever I would make would have to be from ingredients on hand. Ever since reading about “involtini” on “Over a Tuscan Stove” I had been dreaming of beef cooked in a tomato sauce. I knew I had flank steak in the freezer and rather than making small rolls I could make one larger piece with a similar stuffing. It would then be “braciole”-a dish my childhood. Each week when my grandmother made her big pot of “gravy” (tomato sauce) she included a braciole and I always made sure that I got a slice or two.
I didn’t use a recipe, instead just went with I remembered. I have made it before, but not in years. After the fact, I did take a look at a recipe of Giada’s and the ingredients and the technique are very similar to what I did. The only difference was that I included pine nuts and a little fresh basil in the filling. I didn’t use provolone, but I did lay a slice of prosciutto on the steak before adding the filling. Served with roasted mushrooms, sauteed swiss chard and an arugula salad, our impromptu dinner was just what I had hoped-delectable!