New recipes

Orecchiette with veal roulades in tomato sauce recipe

Orecchiette with veal roulades in tomato sauce recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Veal

Orecchiette pasta is typical of Puglia region, the heel of the Italian boot. This recipe is a traditional way to serve orecchiette and in the Italian five-course-style menu, the roulades are served as second course after enjoying the orecchiette.

Be the first to make this!

IngredientsServes: 5

  • For the veal roulades
  • 400g veal cutlets (about 10-15 thin slices)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 50g shaved Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • For the sauce
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 240ml white wine
  • 800g passata
  • 1 small handful sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • To serve
  • 500g fresh or dry orecchiette pasta
  • 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:50min ›Ready in:1hr20min

    Prepare the veal roulades:

  1. Combine onion, shaved cheese and parsley in a small bowl. Divide the mix among the slices of veal, then roll up. Secure with a wooden skewer.
  2. Prepare the sauce:

  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onion, carrot and celery in oil for a few minutes, until soft. Add veal in one layer, season with a bit of salt and turn up the heat; cook until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in wine and simmer until the alcohol evaporates. Add passata, sea salt and sugar. Lower heat, cover and cook the sauce for 45 to 50 minutes. Once ready, remove the rolls from the pan and set aside. Keep everything warm.
  5. To serve:

  6. When sauce is ready, cook the orecchiette in plenty of boiling salted water until "al dente". Drain, transfer to a large bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Serve the veal roulades as second course in the same plate as the orecchiette.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Orecchiette with Meatballs: Recipe from Puglia.

This orecchiette with meatballs is based on a similar dish that I enjoyed during a recent trip to Salento, Puglia, in Southern Italy. Many consider this dish to be the authentic Italian version of pasta with meatballs!

Orecchiette maritate con polpettine

Pasta with meatballs is one of those recipes that sparks much debate. Many consider it to be more an Italian-American dish and not something that’s eaten in Italy. To some degree this is true. Most Italians don’t eat spaghetti with meatballs as it’s made in the US.

That recipe was apparently ‘invented’ by Italian immigrants in New York in the early 20 th century. However, the origins of pasta with meatballs is definitely Italian, particularly from Abruzzo and Puglia. One of the most well-known pasta dishes in Abruzzo is spaghetti alla chitarra with very small meatballs called ‘pallottine’ normally made from a mix of veal, pork and lamb.

In Puglia, on the other hand, this orecchiette with meatballs is very traditional and many people think of this as the original Italian version of pasta with meatballs. The differences between Abruzzo meatballs and the ones in this recipe are the type of meat used and the size.

There’s no lamb in this recipe from Puglia. The meatballs are also bigger. Whereas the pallottine in Abruzzo are seriously tiny (about the size of a cherry), the ones in this orecchiette recipe are about the size of a walnut! Still not as big as the Americans make theirs!

Italians do eat larger meatballs but not actually with pasta. Traditionally, they remove them from the sauce, which they serve with pasta as a first course ( primo). Then they eat their meatballs as a main course (secondo).

There are a number of typical 2 in 1 Italian pasta recipes which are popular on Sundays and holidays! A couple of examples here on The pasta project are orecchiette with beef rolls (braciole), also from Puglia, and Italian braised pork ribs with pasta from Emilia-Romagna.

The pasta.

Whilst on holiday in Salento, Puglia, I noticed some restaurant pasta dishes made with ‘orecchiette maritate’. Actually, this was a term I hadn’t heard before. I was surprised to learn that it refers to a ‘marriage’ or mix of 2 types of pasta, orecchiette and what the people in Puglia call maccheroncini.

In Puglia, the maccheroncini in orecchiette maritati are a type of casarecce or pasta ‘al ferreto’. A ferreto is a thin metal rod or wire used by housewives to make pasta. Small pieces of pasta are wrapped around the rod and then slid off. This type of pasta is sometimes called ferretti. Fusilli was originally a ferretti pasta as is fileja pasta from Calabria.

The origin of the term ‘maritate’ comes from the fact that maccheroncini, also called maccarruni or minchiarieddi in the local dialect, represent the symbol of male sexuality. Whereas, orecchiette are the symbol of female sexuality. Maritate therefore means ‘married’ and this mix of pasta was traditionally served at wedding lunches as a symbol of a peaceful and fruitful marriage.

Pasta Benedetto Cavalieri.

I made this orecchiette with meatballs using orecchiette maritate that I bought back from Salento. It’s made by one of the most well-known pasta companies in Puglia, Benedetto Cavalieri. My hubby and I dropped in at this company one morning during our holiday and we were thrilled to meet and talk to the present owner, Benedetto and his son Andrea.

Benedetto Cavalieri have been making pasta in Maglie, Salento since 1918. However, even before they started making pasta, the Cavalieri family were durum wheat farmers and millers. The present owner is the founder’s grandson.

They make their pasta with durum wheat grown in Puglia and Basilicata using a production process called ‘methodo delicato’. This ‘delicate’ method involves long kneading of the dough and slow pressing, drawing and drying at low temperatures.

Benedetto Cavalieri have 2 lines of pasta production. Their relatively new organic whole grain pasta is available in 6 shapes (I have the fusilli and rigatoni which I am looking forward to trying very soon). Whilst, their traditional award winning artisan pasta is available in 32 shapes. It’s the pasta of choice for many gourmet chefs who value it’s wonderful grain flavour and chewiness.

I love Benedetto Cavalieri’s orecchiette maritate. It was the perfect pasta choice for this orecchiette with meatballs recipe. Of course, you can also use just orecchiette.

Making orecchiette with meatballs.

Although this orecchiette with meatballs recipe requires a few cooking and prep steps, it’s pretty easy to make. Most time consuming is making the meatballs as they need to be quite small! My hubby and I made them together. In total, we managed to make 40 meatballs. That’s about 10 per person which is a generous portion. Aim for meatballs that are a mouthful size!

The meatballs are fried and then cooked in a tomato sauce made from onion and either fresh tomatoes and passata or you can use just passata (Italian canned tomato puree). Total cooking time is only 30-45 minutes if you cook the pasta whilst the meatballs are simmering in the sauce.

The meatballs and sauce freeze well. So, since it was just my hubby and I, froze half and got 2 delicious meals out of this orecchiette with meatballs recipe!

If you do try this Italian pasta with meatballs recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your feedback means a lot to me!

Want to know more about my life in Italy? Go to the homepage and subscribe to my newsletter. New subscribers get a free recipe e-book too!

Save this recipe for later?

If you want to save this recipe for later, you can print it, bookmark this page or save it to Pinterest.

Related Video

Easy, fast and tasty, needing simple, at-hand ingredients. It will proabbly become a stand-by recipe in my kitchen.

This is really a 2 1/2 fork recipe - I just don't know how to make it a half. I doubled the garlic and basil, bummed up the oregano. It was tasty and very easy. Served with pasta, which was nice with the tomatoes.

Used chicken instead of veal (so not rating). Didn't do anything for us.

I think this is my first 4-fork rating on epicurious (My Fiancé is across the room insisting on the fourth fork). Very good, quite easy - and had all ingredients on hand. Used dried herbs (shock, horror, I know) - will try fresh next time. Will make again!

I used a 28oz can of chunky crushed tomatoes since that's what was on hand. Wonderful and easy to make for a weeknight dinner. Even my two-year old loved it.

Doubled the basil and upped the garlic. Very easy and yummy.

After printing this recipe to make it for the umpteenth time, I felt it was about time I went ahead and shared my enthusiasm for this dish. If I am in the mood for veal, this is the recipe I make. Outstanding!

This was very simple and my family loved it so much that a week later I subsituted chicken cutlets for the veal. Because my husband likes a smoother sauce I poured the tomatoe sauce in the blender, pureed it and returned it to the pan. Then added the chicken back and topped it with grated parmesan and sliced mozzarella. I will add this dish to my routine!

Not great, but not bad. A nice alternative to veal parmesan or marsala. There was way too much tomato flavor, and the veal lacked flavor. Iɽ recommend seasoning the veal with italian seasoning rather than salt and pepper. Maybe 1 can diced tomatoes and a smaller can of tomato sauce.

I made this last week and loved it so much that I'm making it for comapny tonight. I did think that the recipe overcooked the veal a tad. I'm going to adjust the sautee time slightly.

I, too, deglazed with red wine, and served with angel hair pasta. This is delicious, easy and attractive. and VERY Italiano! This goes in my permanent file!

This recipe is an old staple now. I think it works better with relatively thin pork cutlets. They are juicier than the veal cutlets.

So easy, and really delicious. I also added red wine and extra garlic. This was a hit!

I used fresh yellow tomatoes to make a sauce first. Then substituted the fresh yellow sauce and deglazed with port wine. It's amazing and looked so good.

Excellent! Definitely use fresh basil. Quick and simple but elegant enough for a dinner party. The dried red pepper gives it a little zip making the sauce quite tasty! I will make this again and again!

Quick and easy. Makes as delious meal with a side dish of angle hair pasta.

Loved this recipe. It was my first from epicurious. I took a few suggestions from other cooks, such as adding a red wine deglazer and using 1/2 flour and 1/2 Itlian breadcrumbs to coat the veal. I also used just 4 cutlets and did not cut back on the sauce. If I use 8 cutlets next time I would double the sauce. It was also great with angel hair pasta. Being a new cook I love hearing from all the experienced cooks with their opinions and suggestions. It's a great way to learn. I will most assuredly make this dish again.

A wonderful recipe to add to one's collection--delicious, quick and easy. What more can one ask!

served this dinner as a quick dish for my in-laws coming into town. it was great and best of all easy. even my mother-in-law, who cooks entire thanksgiving meals for 20 or more by herself, loved it! try it

I egg washed the veal, mixed 1/2 flour and Italian breadcrumbs..Added more garlic, 1/2 cup red wine and reduced it alot. Surved with angel hair pasta, Salad and rolls. It was a hit

We absolutely loved this . This was awsome. My son who really doesn't care for veal was looking for more ! I served it with Angel Hair Pasta and a salad and a wonderful red wine . YUMMMY .

Only one word necessary, YUM! Took a previous cooks advice and used red wine to deglaze, and threw whole basil leaves in and just let them wilt. Delish!

I cheated and used pork tenderloin instead of veal, but still came up with great results. I took the advice of a previous chef and served a side of capellini. Definitely worth trying.

I rate this recipe a 10. The only thing I change is the garlic. I increase it by 50%. Besides the mess, this meal is great.

Outstanding. I used crushed Tomatoes instead of diced only because that is what I had on hand.

Veal Rolls with Tomato Sauce

For the veal rolls, rinse the basil and pluck off the leaves. Mix basil with raisins, pine nuts, oil, garlic and parmesan and puree with an immersion blender to a smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Flatten meat slightly with a mallet and season with salt and pepper. Brush with the paste. Roll tightly and tie with kitchen twine. Heat remaining oil in a pan and add the veal rolls. Brown on all sides while turning, around 6 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

For the tomato sauce, rinse the tomatoes, blanch, peel, halve and remove seeds. Peel onion and chop finely. Peel and halve garlic. Heat oil in another frying pan and fry the onion until translucent. Add tomatoes and garlic, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add hot water if too much liquid evaporates while cooking. Season with sugar, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (4 ounce) package chopped pancetta
  • 1 (12 ounce) package Italian chicken sausage (such as Trader Joe's® Chicken Sicilian Sausage)
  • ⅓ cup red wine
  • 1 (8 ounce) package crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 1 (16 ounce) package orecchiette pasta
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach

Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic cook and stir until the onion starts to soften, about 2 minutes.

Increase heat to high and add pancetta to the skillet. Cook and stir until crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove casings from the sausages add sausage meat to skillet. Cook and stir until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the skillet.

Toss mushrooms into the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, and salt. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick, 1 to 2 hours.

Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in orecchiette and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain without rinsing the pasta.

Stir spinach into the sauce in the skillet. Cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Toss pasta into the skillet and stir to combine everything. Stir until heated through, adding some reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too thick.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
  • Grated Parmesan and chopped fresh parsley, for serving

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add bacon and cook until browned and almost crisp, about 4 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, breaking them up as you go, and season with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted water, cook pasta 1 minute less than package instructions. Reserve cup pasta water drain pasta and return to pot.

Add sauce and pasta water to pasta and toss to combine cook over medium-high until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate 3 cups pasta for a separate dish. Serve remaining pasta topped with Parmesan and parsley.

Orecchiette and Parmesan-Tomato Sauce

Heat the neutral cooking oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 8-10 minutes until they begin to turn brown, flipping regularly. Melt the butter into the pot and adjust the heat as necessary to keep them from burning. Continue cooking over moderate heat, turning often, for an additional 10-15 minutes until they are well caramelized. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with salt.

If the pot seems dry, add a little oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, turning regularly, for 8-12 minutes until they release liquid and begin to crisp up. Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent them from burning. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Return the caramelized onions to the pot and add the sweet vermouth, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes until reduced slightly.

Add the vegetable stock and crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the parmesan rinds and season with more salt, pepper, and a liberal shake of crushed red pepper. If you like a sweeter sauce, add a pinch of sugar. Add a sprinkle of garlic powder, if desired (or you can add fresh minced garlic to the mushrooms for about 1 minute before you deglaze the pot!).

Bring the sauce to a very low boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and season again to your preferences.

Bring a large pot of liberally salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water.

Add the pasta cooking water to the pot and bring to a low boil. Add the pasta and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is glossy and coated with sauce. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.

Divide the orecchiette between bowls and garnish with freshly minced parsley and more grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Calories: 591kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 1031mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 491IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3mg

To make the sauce, in a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, and oregano. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, and set aside.

Season the veal on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the veal and sauté until lightly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately.

Note: This sauce is also good over thin-sliced pan-fried sirloin steaks.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1991.

Related Video

Solid offering, however, for me it lacks *wow* or YUM!. I used veal scallopini and served it over capellini. While the sauce was getting happy, I swirled the cooked pasta into the skillet then plated the pasta layering the veal, and sauce (olives, etc) on top. My only change was to add a mashed clove of roasted garlic into the sauce. Don't get me wrong, it was tasty (and FAST), but not terribly interesting.

Yes, I did modify. I used a leftover portion of Olive Caper Relish from this site for the olives (which would also be great with sun dried toms). But followed the remainder of the recipe. Wonderful and fast!

Great recipe. There was more 'stuff' then sauce but the flavor of the olive/tomatoes really penetrates the veal. Simple and quick.

Delicious, we all enjoyed it!

followed recipe exactly. highly recommend using good cutlets of veal, only the bet quality - such as from Whole Foods. very easy and simple, yet makes a very good dish, works well as an entree within a multi course true italian meal

This is good and easy. But it would be better if I could get really good veal. Guess the restaurants get the good stuff, we have to settle for second best. But the flavor is lovely. My only change next time would be to reduce the amount of butter a bit.

Really liked this one . sun dried tomatoes and olives were excellent with the veal . we'll do this one again for sure!

My friend made this with Chicken instead of Veal and we used it to top angel hair pasta. Threw in a littl feta for good measure. YUM! I am getting the recipe right now so I can make it.

this was very good and quite simple to make. i cut recipe in half and it turned out fine. i used a bit more chicken broth and boiled sauce down a little longer to make it really tasty. the key is the brown bits so don't use a non-stick pan.

Add some crushed garlic to taste as well as some grated parmesean cheese.

This dish will be good only if you use the best veal you can find. It is an outstanding combination of flavors, easy to prepare, and is sure to please the most jaded palate.

Silly me. I am a batchelor and only cook for myself. I love the recipies but have to reduce them. Besides I find that by placing cooked food in the oven only dries it out.

This was really delicious! I will definitely make this again! A note to "brianrp from Australia". the oven is pre-heated to 200F to keep the cutlets warm during the entire cooking process. the recipe indicates this part of the way through.

I eat Scallopini at least once a week. I will keep this recipe but I am confused as to why set the oven on 200f. I cook all my scallopini stove top as you appear to have done

Followed the recipe with no changes and it turned out really good. I thought it was kind of strange that there wasn't any garlic in it, but it really didn't need it. Baked potatoes and asparagus as the sides.


Brasciole or Braciole are simple rolls of beef, characterized by a simple but at the same time rich flavor filling. Braciole are cooked in abundant tomato sauce, also used as a condiment for pasta (especially Apulian Orecchiette).

Defined as the Sunday dish, the Apulian Brasciole al Sugo (chops with tomato sauce), together with the Orecchiette, are one of the most traditional dishes of the region.

Orecchiette with Brasciole Sauce

To prepare the Apulian Brasciole you need a few simple ingredients, all genuine and easy to find. The process is very fast. The slices of meat must be wide and thin, suitable for making rolls.

If you like the Apulian Cuisine, take a look also at these recipes: Focaccia Barese and Rice Potatoes and Mussels.

Watch the video: Κεφτεδάκια με σάλτσα ντομάτας. Άκης Πετρετζίκης (January 2022).