• ½ c. dried Italian or flavored breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/3 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 8 slices of Provolone cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 thin beef slices, pounded thin
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 3 c. of My Grandmother’s Spaghetti Sauce, or your favorite jarred spaghetti sauce (see below)
  • Butcher’s twine


Flank steak filled with spinach, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and garlic, simmered in a Italian gravy, has been our family’s Christmas dinner for the last seven years.  You don’t have to wait for Christmas or another holiday to prepare this amazing dish. It is super easy and versatile. No time to make your own sauce? Simply purchase your favorite marinara sauce.

In a bowl, stir first five ingredients to blend. Stir in 2 tbsp. of olive oil; season and set aside.

Place steaks between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound thin. Sprinkle each steak evenly with the breadcrumb mixture and lay a piece of Provolone cheese and a few spinach leaves. Roll steak(s) up and tie with butcher’s twine. Brown all sides of steak in remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once steaks are browned, add wine. Bring to a boil and add marinara sauce. Cover steaks and bake for 1 hour or until tender. You can also do this in a large covered family skillet. Be sure to keep it at a low simmer, checking it regualrly to make sure it’s not burning.

Vavo’s Spaghetti Sauce

My grandmother’s sauce, what can I say? To me it’s the best sauce in the world.

Our five senses transport us back to times past—one minute we’re adults at home and the next, we’re back in our grandmother’s kitchen!

3 tbsp. Portuguese, extra-virgin or Spanish olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (28 oz can) crushed tomatoes
1 (14 oz can) stewed tomatoes, broken up with your fingers
1 (6 oz can) tomato paste
2 bay leaves
Garlic and onion powder (my grandmother would put it in so that it looks like she’d dusted the top of the sauce with it)
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. Italian seasonings
Sugar, just a pinch to round out the flavors (lots of acidity from the tomatoes)

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, saute the onion, green pepper in olive oil until softened. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer for at least one hour.