Hubby cuts the wood, carries the wood and keeps a beautifully warm heater burning from late afternoon until we go to bed every day over winter. Some weekends he gets up to stoke the fire at 6am if it is going to be a cold day. Hubby is a part time lumberjack during winter. Last night he had to venture out so I checked the fire after one hour and dutifully added a log to the bright blaze.
When he returned he walked downstairs straight away asking if I had checked on the fire.
Proudly I replied that yes, I had added a log onto the top of the fire.
He came upstairs shaking his head and said I had extinguished the fire by placing the log on top as I actually smothered and put the fire out. Then he laughed and said I would freeze if I lived by myself.
I replied that my star sign is a water sign so of course I am naturally good at putting out fires.
On nights like these a good warm, hearty winter dish is required, like this Bracciole, a variation from my usual style but very delicious. Each region in Italy has their own version of Bracciole and this one is a very pleasant option.
My Bracciole in Tomato Sauce
500g pork schnitzels, sliced thinly
500g veal schnitzels, sliced thinly
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
300g proscuitto slices
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese
freshly chopped parsleytoothpicks
2/3 cup red wine, a shiraz or cabernet sauvignon
1 litre of tomato passata
2 bay leaves
fresh basil leaves
Place your schnitzels on a chopping board, give them a little bash if they are too thick.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper then lay a thin slice of prosciutto on top.
Sprinkle with pine nuts, pecorino and parsley.
Roll up from the slim end, securing with a toothpick.
Turn a frying pan, large enough to fit the 10 rolls in one level, onto medium high.
Place the rolls inside and turn until they are all just browned.
Pour the red wine over top and let it simmer for one minute then add the tomato sauce, bay leaves and seasoning. Place the lid on and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down to low so that it is just simmering and cook for 1.2 hours. Test for tenderness, sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and serve with pasta, crunchy bread and a fresh garden salad. Plus lashings of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Are you a good fire burner or like me, sadly hopeless and do you like hearty winter dishes?
Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx