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Veal roll with frittata and mortadella. And that moment in life

Veal roll with frittata and mortadella

There comes a time in a home cook’s life when she wants to cook a stuffed roast. I know this impulse. Even I fell victim to it one day in a year rather far from here. That happened, in fact, in the days of my youth.

At that time, cooking had already made inroads into my life.
Although it was an activity, I practiced in moderation.
Mostly on weekends, when I would invite small groups of friends, trying my hand at preparing a new dish each time, and since we were all college students, it was almost always pasta.

After a few successful meat dishes, I found an incredible nostalgia on my palate for the veal roll with frittata and mortadella, one of the roasts that had graced so many Sunday and holiday lunches of my childhood.

I had no idea what it meant to cook a stuffed roast. Plus, I didn’t have enough experience to make it out alive from the test, which coincided even with my first trial of roast tying.

I also prepared myself. I went to the butcher in advance with a few questions and no doubts, blissful youth.


Veal roll with frittata and mortadella

In the kitchen

I am in my kitchen, the slice of veal lying on the table, the stuffing ingredients arranged next to it. Operation veal roll is about to begin.

Nevertheless, even before starting, I had already made a mistake because the frittata was too high (but I don’t know that).
Then I also get the order of inserting the filling ingredients wrong, but I will understand this only after baking.

I realize I have underestimated the recipe when I try to roll something that, in the meantime, is become an elephant.

The slice of veal rump stuffed in layers is still open on the table.
I can’t even form the roll, let alone tie it. And this is when I realize I have also forgotten the kitchen string. So I rush up a lot of stairs to get down and back up with the damn kitchen string.

Panting, I cut a very long strand and arranged it within reach.

To us, I think trying to roll up the thing that doesn’t want to become a roll. Then, I get an idea. It was so bad that, for years, I didn’t want to have any more ideas. I decide to tie one piece of roll at a time, a roll that is not at all shaped like a cylinder anyway.
After the first round of twine, the filling squirts out the other side, and as I’m contemplating whether to hold the blob in place with one knee, I finally admit that the feat is beyond my grasp.

Back then, there wasn’t even a YouTube to watch a video on how to tie a roast, which, someone has to say to you, won’t help if you’ve never tied a roast.

As the foretold disaster unfolds, I take the frittata off the roll with the hope of sealing it, at which point I somehow tie the piece of meat. And although more like a hostage than a splendid roast, I still remember tenderly observing it.

It is, after all, my first stuffed roast and, what’s more, the frittata roll, okay without it, and mortadella, one of my favorites.

Veal roll with frittata and mortadella

A roll made of crumbs

Once cooked, I cut the twine and, after getting the stuffing wrong and cheerfully underestimating the binding, I make the last fatal mistake: I cut the roast while still hot. Adding vanity to conceit.

Due to haste, the veal roll is a mass of crumbs, such a disaster.

Resignedly, I turned some of the crumbs into meatballs, and for a week, my roommates and I ate salads made from the leftover roll.
It was a sad reminder of what happens when you feel like Icarus.

Many years, a cooking degree, and many roasts later, I point you to some mistakes to avoid when preparing a stuffed roast or whatever else needs to be tied:
  • Read the recipe from beginning to end and, if you can, have someone who has already made it tell you the steps verbally.
  • If you lack experience, a well-written recipe is no guarantee of success. Watch not one but a few video recipes.
  • If you make the veal roll with frittata and mortadella, remember that the omelet should be large and thin.
  • In the recipe, I indicate a method that, over the years, I have seen is easy to follow for those without experience in tying roasts.
  • However, and I emphasize the however with the red pencil if you have never tied a roast, practice. You can use anything with a cylindrical shape, no matter the thickness. Tie the roast thing once, three times, five times to see if the feat is up to you before wasting ingredients and time. By the way, with patience and practice, you can do it. I believe in you!
  • Ever never cut a roast when warm.

Regarding the roast, it is one of my favorite preparations. Over the years, I have found that I enjoy cooking them, even though they are now increasingly rare on my table.

I prefer roasts that cook in the casserole dish on the stove, leaving the oven free for dessert.
I know that two preparations at a time bring Icarus to mind. But again, choose carefully and read the recipes, and the sun will shine without burning on your wings as a magnificent home cook.


Buona cucina, Monica

The perfect side for my veal roll with frittata and mortadella
Kitchen failures: how to avoid them (or how to turn them into a success)

I’ll leave you the link to this beautiful newsletter by Giulia Scarpaleggia. She dedicated it to failures in the kitchen. She wrote practical tips on how to avoid them or to fix them: My biggest failures in the kitchen.

Keep in Touch

Rotolo di vitello con frittata e mortadella


Veal roll with frittata and mortadella

The recipe of veal roll stuffed with frittata, mortadella, cheese, and spinach is a classic Sunday Bolognese roast.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Emilia-Romagna
Keyword Frittata, mortadella, Veal roll, Veal roll with frittata and mortadella
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings


  • kitchen twine


  • 2 eggs, normal
  • 50 ml of milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 700 g of rump of veal
  • 80 g of thinly sliced mortadella
  • 80 g of thinly sliced cheese
  • 40 g of boiled and squeezed spinach optional
  • 50 g of butter
  • 30 g of olive oil
  • 2 g of salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 juniper berries
  • 200 ml of dry white wine
  • 400 ml of stock, meat or vegetarian
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch optional


  • In a bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and salt.
  • Choose a wide pan for cooking a thin frittata large enough to cover the veal slice. Grease the bottom of the pan and put it on a medium stove over low heat. When the bottom of the pan is warm, pour in the eggs.
  • Cook the frittata until, moving the pan, it pulls itself away from the bottom. At this point, turn it over or continue to cook it on the same side over a low flame and covered pan for another five minutes or until the frittata is cooked top and bottom. Let it cool completely.
  • Place the slice of veal rump on a sheet of baking paper. Cover with slices of mortadella, arrange the frittata, add the cheese slices without overlapping them, and scatter tufts of spinach here and there.
  • To tie the roast:
    1) Roll the meat from the long side, pressing as you go so the stuffing remains sealed inside, and fasten the flaps securely by helping yourself with thin twine.
    2) Arrange a piece of kitchen twine under the roll lengthwise, lift the ends of the twine over the roll, and tie a knot so that the twine is tight. In this way, you have sealed the edges of the roll.
    3) Cut many pieces of twine long enough to tie the roast on the short side. Tighten the knots well, tying the veal every 2 cm and forming a tight cylinder.
  • In a pan large enough to comfortably hold the roast, melt butter in olive oil and add salt, juniper berries, and bay leaves. Arrange the roast in the center of the pan and seal for 5 minutes, cooking it on all sides.
  • Add 100 ml white wine and let it evaporate over medium-low heat, turning the roast.
  • When the wine is almost completely evaporated (about a fingerful remains in the pan), add 400 ml stock and cook covered and over medium-low heat on a small stove for 45 minutes, turning the roast occasionally.
  • Remove the lid, add another 100 ml wine and one pinch of salt, and cook for 15 minutes more, still over medium-low heat.
  • Let the roast cool in the cooking liquid. Wrap the veal roll in aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • Strain the cooking sauce, pour it into a small saucepan, reduce by half on a small stove and medium-low flame; to thicken it, you can add a teaspoon of starch, stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Pour it into a bottle or jar with a lid and preserve it in the fridge.
  • After the veal roll has rested, remove the aluminum foil and arrange the roll on a cutting board. Remove the kitchen twine with scissors and cut the roll into thin slices.
  • Serve the roll at room temperature with warm sauce or warm the slices in a hot oven after pouring a few tablespoons of cooking sauce and covering the pan with aluminum foil.

Food tips

  • Cook the roast the day before serving and let the meat rest overnight before slicing.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for two days.
  • Store the sliced roll in the freezer for 20 days.


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