SICILIAN MEAT OLIVES (Alivuzzi di carni-Olivette di carne)

Braciola (singular)


Two of my most visited posts are the recipes for Braciole (Meat rolled around a stuffing) and Polpettone (large meat roll made with mince meat and with a stuffing).

Polpettone 4

There are many similar recipes of meat rolled around a stuffing, for example the Sicilian farsumagru (falsomagro, in Italian), involtini – or you may know them as saltimbocca or salti in bocca. Smaller  in size are are ucelletti or ucellini (both words mean little birds in Italian) and olivette (little olives).

I found a recipe called Alivuzzi Di Carni (Sicilian for Olivette di Carne – meat olives) in my copy of Cucina Nostra by Maria Consoli Sardo, published in 1978, 1 edition.

olivette ready to fry


Translating recipes from the Italian always requires a poetic licence – ingredients, times, quantities are often missing, but the following cooking method and amounts of ingredients works for me.

veal or young beef steaks 700g,
white wine, 1 cup
celery, parsley, onion, equal quantities of each to amount to ¾ cup, cut finely
salt and black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, ½ cup
hot water, ½ cup
For the stuffing:
salame, sliced thinly 150g
formaggio fresco, 150g
pine nuts,150g
spring onion,1, finely chopped


Trim and pound the steaks to about 5mm thick, each 5-6cm in size.
Spread some of the stuffing over each steak. Roll the steak around the filling and secure with netting (I use a toothpick or string). Sprinkle each olivetta (singular for small olive) with salt and finely ground pepper.
Place the olive oil in a large frypan and sauté the celery, parsley, onion until softened (over medium-high heat).
Add the rolls and lightly fry them until lightly browned on all sides.
Add wine to hot pan and evaporate for a few minutes.
Add water and cook gently with a lid until cooked.