La Vera Cucina


The robust flavors of trattoria style cooking originated from thrifty “contadini” (peasants) of the Italian countryside who were constrained by economics, but not by ingenuity! What little beef they could afford often came from grass fed oxen or milk cows used as draft animals. As a result, these resourceful cooks devised cooking techniques, using the robust flavors of homemade wine, dried herbs, and homegrown vegetables to transform relatively tough cuts of meat into flavorful, robust specialties.

Here, Chef Otto Volpe shares his family’s recipe for Pasticciata, a customer favorite at his brother Vincenzo’s restaurant, Vincenzo’s House of Fine Foods, in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. An Abruzzi province specialty, Pasticciata is made from the eye of beef round, marinated overnight in wine and garlic, then slow cooked with garden vegetables until it melts in your mouth!



  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 whole cloves (seasoning)
  • 10 pounds eye of round roast
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 3 canned whole plum tomatoes
  • black peppercorns
  • salt
  • hot, just-cooked pasta


Combine wine, garlic, and cloves in stainless steel or glass pan. Add roast. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate 24 hours, turning once after 12 hours. Place roast and marinade into roasting pan with tight fitting lid. Add broth, celery, onion, carrot, tomatoes, peppercorns, and salt to taste. Cover; roast at 325° F for 6 to 8 hours (turn over every couple of hours) or until cooked through and tender. Remove from oven; let rest 1 hour. Strain and reserve juices. Serve 6 to 8 ounce portion over a bed of pasta. Pour ¼ cup reserved juice over top of meat and serve.

Makes about 20 servings.