Braciole with Orecchiette

 I have a new favorite pasta.

This is the first time I've tried orecchiette pasta and I love it. Especially when the sauce gets caught in between several shells that tuck right into one another. 
It's the simple things.

Then there's the steak that's rolled up with a layer of prosciutto, bread crumbs seasoned with pecorino ramono and garlic, and a stick of provolone cheese in the middle.

Doesn't get much better than that.

Linked with Sunflower Supper Club: Weekend Potluck
Rattlebridge Farm: Foodie Friday

Braciole with Orecchiette

2 cups stale 1/2-inch Italian bread cubes
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, divided use
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 to 1 1/4 pounds thin cut beef bottom round steak, sliced into 6 pieces
6 thin slices prosciutto
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided use
1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for topping
4 ounces aged provolone cheese
1 pound orecchiette

Combine the bread and milk in a large bowl and let soak, 15 minutes.

Heat up the olive oil in a large pot; add onion, half the garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Cook until onions start to soften. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it begins to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and continue to cook 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking up with a wooden spoon, water and bay leaves; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Place the beef slices between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper and pound with a heavy skillet until 1/16 inch thick. Position the slices with the short sides facing you and lay a slice of prosciutto on top of each. Add 1/4 cup of parsley, the pecorino, minced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper to the soaked bread and mix with your hands, breaking up the bread; spread a layer on top of the prosciutto.

Cut the provolone into six 2-to-3-inch-long sticks, about 1/2 inch thick. Put a piece of cheese horizontally across the middle of each slice of beef and trim any overhanging cheese. Starting with a short end, tightly roll up the beef and secure with a toothpick.

Transfer the braciole to the sauce (make sure braciole is nestled down in the sauce). Bring up to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour. Uncover, stir and continue simmering, uncovered, until the beef is tender and the sauce thickens, 1 more hour. (Add up to 1 cup water if the sauce gets too thick.) Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup parsley and taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper if needed.

About 20 minutes before serving, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Remove the braciole from the sauce and transfer to a platter; remove the toothpicks. Pour some of the sauce on top. Drain the pasta and toss with the remaining sauce. Serve the braciole with the pasta; top with pecorino.

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