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Italian Beef Rollups have soft pasta rolled up with a savory beef filling, then baked smothered in sauce and cheese.
Get ready for some seriously delicious comfort food!
Italian Beef Rollups are similar to a beef manicotti, but the soft pasta rollups are an old-fashioned recipe of leftover mashed potatoes and flour, plus a little salt. This potato pasta is one variation sometimes referred to as ‘dish rag pasta’ in Italian cuisine.
How do you make it?
After mixing the mashed potatoes, flour and salt, the simple ‘pasta’ dough is rolled into circles, then cooked for a couple of minutes in a dry pan – similar to a crepe. (But easier to work with than a crepe!) You can make these a day ahead of time.
You can also make the beef filling a day ahead – in fact, we highly recommend that you do so. You’ll braise a three-pound beef chuck roast low and slow for about three hours, in mixture of tomato paste, hearty and bold red wine, canned crushed tomatoes, beef stock, as well as dried basil and oregano. Once the beef is cooked and tender, shred it with a fork.
Next, assemble your Italian Beef Rollups. Lay the cooked pasta circles out, then fill with the shredded beef. Roll each circle and place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Top with more crushed tomatoes as well as mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Bake for twenty minutes until heated through, then broil until the cheese is golden brown and caramelized. Serve immediately – a side Caesar salad and garlic bread are great options.
Can I make other recipes with the ‘dish rag pasta’?
Or – just like a crepe – you could make a sandwich, or spread with peanut butter and jelly for the kids. The possibilities are endless!
You may enjoy these other pasta recipes:
- Classic Lasagna
- Meat Lovers Manicotti Stracotto-Style
- Pasta al Finocchio
- Pasta con Tonno
- Italian Fried Pasta
3 pounds beef chuck
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion sliced into thick slices
6 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup bold red wine such as merlot
1 14.5-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dry basil
1 teaspoon dry oregano
2 cups beef stock or broth
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes*
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Flour for rolling the roll-ups
3 cups crushed tomatoes
12 slices provolone cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Salt and pepper all sides of the beef.
In a medium heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium high heat, add oil and sear the beef on all sides, about two minutes per side.
Remove beef and add onions and cook two minutes.
Add tomato paste and cook for another two minutes.
Add the wine, deglaze then add the crushed tomatoes, dry basil, dry oregano and stock.
Nestle the beef back in, cover and cook 1 ½ hours. Turn beef over in the pot, cover and cook another 1 ½ hours.
With two forks, shred beef into the liquid. Set shredded beef aside or if making a day ahead, refrigerate.
Make the rollups by mixing the mashed potatoes, flour and salt to form a dough.
Roll into a log and cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
Flour your counter and roll the dough balls into a 7” circle with a rolling pin. They are easy to roll so I just rolled as I cooked.
Heat a medium to large nonstick saute pan over medium and once hot, lay out one rollup and cook for 1-2 minutes per side. Have another one rolled and ready and remove the first one and replace with a new one. Repeat for all 12, wiping the pan of any flour a few times during the cooking process. If using right away, loosely cover with plastic and set aside. If making ahead, stack on a plate, cover with plastic and refrigerate.
When ready to assemble, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Cover the parchment with about a cup of the crushed tomatoes.
Lay out the 12 rollups on your counter and cover each with a slice of provolone cheese (cut the slice in half and lay the two halves end to end to cover to the edges).
Heat the filling in the microwave if cold and divide the filling equally between the 12 rollups, about ½ cup or more each.
Roll each tight and line up on the sheet tray, seam down.
Spread the remaining two cups of crushed tomatoes over the tops of each.
Divide the shredded mozzarella evenly over the tops of each.
Sprinkle the tops with the Parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes.
Place under the broiler until browned and serve.
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*Russet potatoes work best for this recipe. Mashed potatoes made with waxy potatoes such as New Potatoes, may produce mixed results when mixed with flour and salt.