While the southern Italians like making them with eggplant, in the north they’re usually made with veal or chicken. You can also use fish. Some stuff the involtini with ricotta and cook them slowly in a tomato - based sauce, but this version is a more northern style of cooking which uses veal pan – fried in butter.
Involinti means rolls in Italian and depending what part of Italy you’re from, there are various ways and traditions of making them.
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
- 8 large sage leaves
- 4 slices veal schnitzel, about 80-100 g each
- 120 g provolone piccante
- 8 slices mild pancetta
- 40 g butter
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked
- 125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
- 4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed
- 200 g butter, at room temperature
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
- 6 slices pancetta
- 150 g brie, thinly sliced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 10 minutes
- For the hasselback potatoes, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the potatoes in a microwave-proof plastic zip lock bag with 2 tablespoons water and cook on high for about 10 minutes or until a fork inserts without too much pressure (be careful not to over–cook them). Stand for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle, then remove from the bag and place on a baking paper–lined baking tray. Using a chopstick as a guide, make incisions from one end of the potato to the other without going all the way through to the bottom.
- In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Using a pastry brush, gently pry the potato layers apart and brush half the butter in between each slice as best you can. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper, then bake for 10 minutes. By now the potatoes should have opened up a little so brush with a little more garlic butter, add the rosemary and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden tender.
- Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan. Add the sliced pancetta for the potatoes and cook until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel and stand until cool, then finely chop and set aside.
- Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half the sage leaves and stir for 2-3 minutes or until nearly crisp. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
- Using a meat mallet, pound the veal until about 3-mm thick. Cut the provolone into 1-cm thick sticks slightly shorter than the width of the veal. Lay out each slice of the veal and brush the top with a little garlic butter. Top with a fried sage leaf, followed by 1-2 slices of pancetta (depending on the size of the veal), then a piece of provolone. Roll up each involtini, tuck in the ends and secure with toothpicks (see note).
- Remove the hasselback potatoes from the oven and place a slice of brie in every second or third layer. Sprinkle the finely chopped cooked pancetta over the top and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Heat a frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the butter and 2 tablespoons of oil and cook until the butter starts foaming. Add the involtini and the rosemary tips, then tear in the remaining sage leaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes, turning regularly and spooning the hot oil and butter over the top until the involtini are golden and the cheese has started to melt. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
- Return the pan to medium heat. Add the wine and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until reduced a little. Remove the toothpicks from the involtini and place on a serving plate. Pour over the sauce and serve with the hasselback potatoes.
• Always use the same amount of toothpicks per involtini so you know how many to remove from each before serving.
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