This recipe for Spiedini alla Siciliana or Sicilian Spiedini is an old family recipes that is great for parties and always a crowd pleaser! These are meant to be small – like finger food – and can be served as an appetizer or as part of a larger dinner.
- 1 lb beef cutlets, very thinly sliced and pounded out (if needed) to be about 1/8-1/4 inch thick *
- 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil, or more as needed
- 3 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, or more as needed
- 2 cups tomato sauce, any kind, though homemade is preferred
- 1 large yellow onion, finely minced
- 4 oz pecorino Romano cheese, cut into small chunks
- 20 slices Genoa salami, very thinly sliced (about 1 slice per cutlet), optional
- Toothpicks, optional
- Dried bay leaves, optional
Bread the cutlets
- Arrange a work space by filling a medium, shallow bowl with oil and filling another medium, shallow bowl with about 2 cups of breadcrumbs. Working one at a time, dip each cutlet in oil, allowing the excess to drip off, and then dredge in breadcrumbs. Set aside.
Make the filing
- Mix together the tomato sauce, onions and cheese, then add a few handfuls of seasoned breadcrumbs a little at a time until the mixture is the consistency of runny oatmeal – but not too wet. If it’s too saucy it will ooze out when you roll these up.
Assemble the Spiedini
- Create an assembly line by placing a stack of breaded cutlets next to a stack of sliced salami (if using), and the bowl of filling. Place a few cutlets down on a cutting board, then lay a piece or two of salami (if using) on top. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling on top of the salami, being careful not to put too much. At this point, you can choose to roll them up like cigars or bunch the meat up into a pouch and use two toothpicks to hold it closed.
- Place the spiedini into a greased baking dish. Be sure to pack them in tight, as this will help them cook evenly. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Once all the spiedini are made, spoon any extra sauce, onion, or breadcrumb mixture into any holes in the pan. Use it all up to help keep the spiedini moist, and not to waste any. If you don’t have any mixture left, you can mix together a little sauce and breadcrumbs. No need to chop more onions and cheese for this part if you don’t have any left.
- Break up some pieces of dried bay leaves and tuck them in between each spiedini. This is optional, but gives them a nice, subtle flavor.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or so until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve hot or warm.
- * I used eye round cutlets sold as “sandwich steaks” because that’s what they offer in my grocery store, but any cut will work as long as they are nice and thin
- * Mary Ann’s rule is that these should be finger food: 2-3 per person as an appetizer or 4-6 per person as an entree
- * Any cutlets that are too large after pounding out can be cut in half
Keywords: Sicilian, Italian, beef, meat, pecorino, spiedini, cutlets, appetizer, dinner