Cozze gratinate /Mussels au gratin

Thoroughly clean the mussels, discarding the top shell and place them in a baking pan. Prepare a very fine mixure of breadcrums, cheese, pepper, oregano, garlic, parsley and some olive oil.

Mix thoroughly and add the mixure on top of the mussels..Bake at 200 degrees centigrade (390F) for approx 5 minutes and enjoy this “delizia”.

Bombette: Thin-cut slices of pork filled with cheese and other goodies

Ingredients (for 4 people)

16 thinly-sliced medallions of either pork loin or pork butt (from near the neck). Each piece should be about 8cm x 8cm so you may need to trim.

100gr grated cheese (Parmesan, pecorino or other) or little chunks of a melting cheese

150gr cured ham chopped into little chunks or minced beef or sausage meat

A sprig or two of rosemary, a handful of finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Procedure

Lay out the pieces of pork and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a little parsley and rosemary on top and then add a teaspoon of grated cheese/or chunks of melting cheese and a little cured ham. Close up each piece into a little ball and put onto a skewer (which should keep them closed up).

Take outside to a charcoal barbecue and in 10 minutes you’ll have some wonderfully tasty little bombs to impress your friends with! 

Beef Braciole

If you grew up in an Italian-American family, the "brasciol" was a Sunday classic !!

Braciole is thinly sliced beef stuffed lightly with bread crumbs, grated cheese and parsley, rolled up and cooked in a sauce. Every family has their own version and their own preferred stuffing, but the principle is the same, and the results are always delicious!

The origins are unclear; some say it's Neapolitan, where they often add raisins and pine nuts to the stuffing; others say it hails from Puglia, where it is slow cooked in sauce and served with orecchiette pasta.

REAL-DEAL SOUTHERN ITALY BRACIOLE RECIPE

4-6 thin sliced beef scallopine or flank steak
1/2 cup coarse bread crumbs, preferably from day-old bread
1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup dry wine (red or white)
2 cups tomato sauce or tomato puree

Combine the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley and garlic in a bowl. Distribute evenly over each of the beef scallops. Roll up the meat and secure with kitchen string or toothpicks.
In a large pan, brown the meat rolls in olive oil. Turn to saute on all sides. Remove from the pan, and add the wine.

Deglaze the pan, scraping up browned bits, then add the tomato sauce. (If you’re using plain bottled puree, you might want to add a little oregano and basil to flavor the tomato sauce.) Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste, and peperoncino (red chile flakes) if you want a little spice, but go easy!

Return the meat rolls to the sauce, cover and simmer about 1/2 hour. Uncover the pan and let simmer another 10 minutes. Serve the sauce on pasta, then serve the meat with a drizzle of sauce over it. You can sprinkle it with additional grated cheese and a bit of minced parsley, if you’d like.

Want the Neapolitan version of braciole? It's simple: take 1-2 slices of prosciutto and slice it into slivers. Add it to the bowl along with a handful of raisins and a handful of pine nuts. Stuff and cook as directed.