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Italian beef olives

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Italian beef olives

Main Serves 4 2h 20 min
Beef rolls filled with smoky bacon, pine nuts, garlic, oregano and Parmesan and slow-simmered in tomato sauce. These take a while to cook but are succulent and delicious. Eat with bread and butter, pasta, or a hearty helping of polenta to soak up the juices.


  • 8 beef escalopes
  • 8 slices streaky bacon
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • 50g pine kernels
  • 80g Parmesan, grated
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 150ml white wine
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 2h
  • Step 1

    Flatten the escalopes with a rolling pin (sandwich them between 2 layers of cling film) and then lay a slice of streaky bacon across each.
  • Step 2

    Mix the garlic, pine kernels, Parmesan, oregano and parsley together and divide between the escalopes - sprinkling over each. Season the beef olives with salt and pepper, roll and secure with cocktail sticks.
  • Step 3

    Heat some olive oil in a heavy casserole and fry the olives to brown on all sides then add the wine. Reduce by half then add the tomatoes, purée and bay leaves, and when the tomatoes are gently simmering, cover and turn to lowest heat. Cook slowly for 1½-2 hours, stirring regularly throughout. The sauce should be thick and the beef olives very tender. Discard the bay leaves.
  • Step 4

    Serve both sauce and beef olives over tagliatelli, sprinkle with more chopped parsley or torn basil leaves.

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