Rotolo Toscano: Ground beef roll stuffed with ham and cheese
Made in a manner, similar to a jelly roll, the Rotolo Toscano is seasoned minced beef stuffed with ham and cheese, and glazed with tomato sauce.
This recipe was inspired by my friend Joan, who is a fantastic cook with an open mind. She worked in the Detroit-Windsor auto sector back in the days when the booming industry drew many new immigrants in search of factory work. As often happens with developing friendships, one way of learning more about each other’s cultures, is food and sharing recipes.
When Joan offered to make meatloaf one day she served what she called Italian Stuffed Meatloaf. Everybody thought it was amazing and I just loved how she elevated the mundane meatloaf to the epicurean realm. She passed along her recipe which I planned to make for some friends. When I found out that one had celiac I decided to make a gluten free version. As it turns out, this dish didn’t really need to have bread crumbs in it after all in my opinion. It’s a little denser than meatloaf but the flavours are more intense.
The rotolo is Italian seasoned minced beef stuffed with ham and cheese, and glazed with tomato sauce.
- 1½ lbs. lean ground beef
- ½ cup finely chopped white onion
- 1 garlic clove finely minced
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp dry onion soup mix
- ¼ cup chile sauce
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp oregano
- ¼ tsp anise
- ¼ tsp crushed dried chilies
- ½ cup passata or crushed tomato for the glaze
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2-3 thin slices Prosciutto Cotto cooked ham
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F
In a large bowl, combine mixture ingredients
Evenly roll out the mixture onto plastic wrap or wax paper making a ½ inch layer
Make a second layer with the ham slices
Spread out the cheese as the third layer
Roll up the layers as a jelly roll with the help of the wrap/paper underneath
Close the ends and form into a loaf shape
Spray a broiler rack with non-stick spray then place loaf onto rack
Coat loaf with the passata or tomato sauce
Add a little water to the bottom of the broiler tray
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes
Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving
You can make your own variation of the stuffing, using other Italian cheeses like Parmesan, Pecorino, and adding spinach or basil leaves. Refrigerate left over rotolo and serve the next day as a cold appetizer as you would a pâté or terrine.