Traditional Bombette

Living away from my hometown sometimes makes me long for the food I eat only when home, especially during cold, winter days. I miss the times when my friends and I would go to eat “carne al fornello”, where different varieties of meat are cooked in a wood fired oven.

When in Martina, if somebody suddenly cancels a 15 min slot, I grab that chance to eat in a very famous place. It’s called “U Salvasoddė” a small butchery where you usually have to book 2 months in advance! You can go in the afternoon to choose what you want to eat. You will not believe it – the place has no chairs, no plates, no wine or beer served, but you can bring your own. Just the meat! It is served on a piece of paper, straight from the oven on a marble table  50 cm by 1.50 mt wide. The room is less then 4 sqmt. More often than not, there are more than 15 people around that tiny table! So you eat standing. Why? Because you go there for the experience and the meat there is fantastic!

One of the things that you will always order there are the “Bombette”. They’re called as such because they are like small bomblets – but full of flavours.

My father used to go to the “Fornello” to buy Bombette, and bring them home for a different dinner. During festivities and Sundays they will be cooked on the charcoal at home and served as second course. It is a roll of meat (roulade) filled with tasty cheese and or sometimes wrapped in bacon. Traditional Apulian bomblets are grilled. But if the weather doesn’t allow it, you can bake them too. The result will be very tasty.

How to prepare Bombette


Veal – 12 thin slices

Pancetta or bacon – 12 slices Optional

Hard Bread crumbled – Optional

Cheese, cut into chunky pieces – 150g “Pecorino” is perfect; not too hard because they have to melt.

Parsley – a few sprigs, chopped

Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste

Salt and black pepper to taste

Garlic 1 clove, chopped


Cover the meat with parchment paper and beat them with a meat mallet. This is to make them thinner.

Then season them with salt and pepper. Add the pieces of cheese, the parsley, and small piece of garlic.

Roll up the meat slice. If you want, you can roll it on the pancetta and seal it with a toothpick.

Another option is to roll up the meat slice, drizzle it with olive oil and roll it in hard, crumbled bread.

Now arrange all the bombettes on a baking pan and bake this in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. When done, grill them for a few minutes. Serve them while they’re hot.

Buon Appetito.

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