I was never what you would call a “meat and potatoes” guy. I always loved experimenting with different flavors and spices, and trying new recipes and combinations.
So when my old friend from college, who had since become a successful restaurateur, asked me to come over for dinner and try his newest dish, braciole, I was intrigued.
He told me that it was a traditional Italian dish, usually made with beef, but he had put his own twist on it by using pork.
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. But I was hooked with one bite of that tender, flavorful meat.
Now, whenever I make braciole, I like to try different side dishes to see what works best. Over the years, I’ve come up with a few that I really love.
So, if you are looking for ideas on what to serve with braciole, keep reading!
Side Dishes For Braciole
- Cucumber Salad
- Roasted Red Potatoes
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Baked Ziti
- Zucchini Sauté
Pasta. I could eat it every day, and with braciole, I often do. There is something about the rich flavor of the meat that pairs so well with a simple pasta dish.
Is there anything it can’t do? Seriously, though, pasta is the perfect side dish for braciole. It’s versatile, filling, and goes with just about everything.
My personal favorite is a simple spaghetti with olive oil and garlic. But if you want to get a little fancier, you could try a pasta primavera or a carbonara.
The key, in my opinion, is to use use a hearty pasta like spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine. The thick noodles stand up well to the sauce and the meat.
Thin pastas like angel hair or vermicelli tend to get lost in the dish. And no one wants that!
So, if you are looking for what to serve with braciole, my vote is pasta. It’s classic, it’s delicious, and it’s always a hit.
Bruschetta is a great choice if you’re searching for something lighter as a side dish.
It’s usually prepared with fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil. There are several variations to try, though.
I’ve had bruschetta with everything from roasted red peppers to goat cheese. And it is always delicious.
The secret is to make use of fresh ingredients. The tomatoes should be ripe and juicy, the garlic should be freshly chopped, and the basil leaves should be crisp.
If you can get your hands on some good quality olive oil, that will really take the dish to the next level.
But even if you can’t, don’t worry. The bruschetta will still be delicious.
There is something about the combination of cucumbers, vinegar, and herbs that just screams summertime.
And what goes better with summer than a nice, cold salad? This cucumber salad is the perfect side dish for braciole.
It’s light, refreshing, and has a bit of a bite to it thanks to the vinegar.
To make the salad, you will need to wash and slice the cucumbers, chop up some fresh herbs, and mix everything together with a bit of vinegar, sugar, and salt.
I like to let the salad sit for a bit before serving so that the flavors have a chance to meld together.
This is a seafood lover’s dream come true. Cioppino is a soup made with a variety of seafood, fresh tomatoes, and herbs.
Cioppino is traditionally made with fish, shrimp, crabs, and clams. It is an amazing dish, and the perfect thing to serve with braciole.
The key to a good cioppino is to use the freshest seafood you can find. If possible, get your fishmonger to recommend what’s fresh and in season.
I also like to add a bit of spice to my cioppino by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes.
But be careful! Too much and the soup will be too spicy. Start with a little and add more to taste.
Serve your cioppino with a big slice of crusty bread. That way, you can soak up all the delicious broth.
Roasted Red Potatoes
Potatoes are always a good idea, in my opinion. And when they’re roasted to perfection, they are even better.
These roasted red potatoes are the perfect side dish for braciole. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Plus, they are tossed in a delicious blend of herbs and spices. Yum!
To make the potatoes, you will need to wash them and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Then, toss them with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven until they are tender and golden brown.
A really good idea is to serve these potatoes with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. You could also just eat them as is. They are that good!
This yummy side dish is a great alternative to mashed potatoes. It’s lighter and has a similar texture.
Plus, it’s packed with nutrients. So, you can feel good about eating it!
When mashing your cauliflower, make sure to use a food processor or a hand mixer. A regular potato masher will not do the trick.
You want the cauliflower to be smooth and creamy, without any lumps.
This is a dish that is near and dear to my heart. My mom used to make it for me all the time when I was growing up.
Baked ziti is the perfect comfort food, and it makes an excellent side dish for braciole.
The key to a great ziti is in the sauce. You want to use a good quality tomato sauce, and make sure to add plenty of herbs.
I also like to add a bit of ground beef to my ziti. But that’s totally optional. If you want to try something different, you could substitute the beef for sausage or even chicken.
Once you’ve made the sauce, all you need to do is cook the pasta and mix everything together. Then, bake it in a preheated oven until it’s nice and bubbly.
Serve with a side of garlic bread and enjoy!
This is a quick and easy side dish that goes well with just about anything. To make it, you will need to sauté some zucchini in a bit of olive oil.
I like to add a few cloves of garlic to my zucchini sauté. But that’s totally up to you.
Once the zucchini is tender, season it with salt and pepper to taste. That’s it! So simple, yet so delicious.
Healthwise, zucchini is a great vegetable to incorporate into your diet. It’s low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What cut of beef is best for braciole?
Beef rump roast is the best cut of beef for braciole. It’s a leaner cut of meat, so it won’t be as tough. You could also use pork, flank steak, or veal cutlets.
What is the difference between braciole and involtini?
Braciole is a dish made with rolled, stuffed meat. Involtini, on the other hand, is made with thinner or pounded cuts of meat. It can also be made with eggplant, swordfish, or caciocavallo cheese.
Do I need to cook the pasta before adding it to the casserole?
No, you do not need to cook the pasta before adding it to the casserole. The pasta will cook in the sauce as the casserole bakes.
What does braciole mean in Italian?
The word “braciole” is derived from the Latin word “bracchium,” which means “arm.” So, braciole literally means “little arms.”
How do I make sure my braciole don’t fall apart?
To prevent your braciole from falling apart, be sure to use toothpicks or twine to secure them. This will help hold them together as they cook.
Braciole is a delicious Italian dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of side dishes. It always makes a special meal, especially when paired with the right side dish.
In this article, I have shared my favorite side dishes to serve with braciole. I hope you find these suggestions helpful and that you enjoy trying them out.