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Recipe of the Week: Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak Florentine


PHOTO PROVIDED Chef Loretta Paganini

The city of Florence is one of the most visited towns in the world. The birthplace of the Renaissance, it counts many iconic architecture sights: the Duomo, Bell Tower, statue of David and Ponte Vecchio. Growing up about one hour away from this charming city in the heart of Tuscany, I spent many days visiting its sights, its great outdoor markets and enjoying its great cuisine. This recipe is a delicious stuffed flank steak that many Italo-American call braciole. Filled with prosciutto, spinach and roasted red peppers, it’s perfect for dinner anytime but ideal for company. Serves eight. (Chef tip: For best results, braise it slow and low.)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Italian parsley, chopped

1/4 cup red Chianti wine

1/4 cup beef stock

1 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns

1/4 cup fresh herb mix, chopped fine (rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram)

8 ounces fresh spinach

1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 cloves of garlic sliced

2 red bell peppers, roasted

1 flank steak approximately 1 1/2 pounds, butterflied

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 ounces of Prosciutto

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Roast the red peppers. Wash the spinach and chop. Cook spinach in olive oil for five to seven minutes or until wilted. Drain well and squeeze out any excess liquid.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Lay steak out flat and season it with salt and pepper. Add a layer of Prosciutto to the steak, top with a layer of roasted peppers, then make another layer with the spinach. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and chopped herbs. Put the cheese mixture on top of the spinach.

Roll the steak up like a jelly roll. Tie it with kitchen string every couple of inches. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large oven-proof skillet, add oil and garlic, brown the steak, add wine and broth, and bring to a boil. Place in the oven and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before slicing it; reduce sauce and pour over the steak. Garnish with fresh parsley to serve.