Stuffed Veal Bundles (Involtini di Vitello)

I don’t have many cookery books (at least not compared to many of you), and I do not use the ones that I do have very often. There is one exception, and that is my collection of Biba Caggiano books. By now I’ve probably cooked the majority of recipes in there, but there are still some that I haven’t tried. This recipe for fast stuffed veal bundles from “Modern Italian Cooking”, the first of her books that I owned and the one that got me started on Italian cooking, is one that I only recently tried for the first time. Perhaps because I thought it was too similar to Saltimbocca alla Romana, which is on the next page and one of my favorites. The main differences are that saltimbocca are never rolled up but always served flat, and that these stuffed veal bundles are cooked in a tomato sauce.  They also take a bit longer to cook than saltimbocca. Continue reading “Stuffed Veal Bundles (Involtini di Vitello)”

Veal Scaloppine al Marsala

Some dishes are so simple you don’t really need a recipe to make them. But that doesn’t mean they’re not delicious. Italian cuisine is full of such recipes. This one takes less than five minutes to prepare and is a classic recipe that you can find in restaurants all over Italy (and in fact, in Italian restaurants all over the world). Continue reading “Veal Scaloppine al Marsala”

Veal Rib Eye with Mushrooms

According to my butcher, you will live to be 100 if you eat veal on a regular basis. This is not a scientifically proven statement (he bases it on a few people he knows who used to eat veal on a regular basis and have lived to be 100) and since he’s selling the veal his objectivity is questionable. I do like to eat veal though, and it is great with mushrooms.

Fresh porcini mushrooms are very difficult to obtain around here, as they are in many other places around the world. A trick I’ve developed is to soak dried porcini mushrooms in hot water, sauté the reconstituted porcini mushrooms with fresh cultivated mushrooms, and then simmer all of the mushrooms in the porcini soaking liquid to boost the flavor of all the mushrooms. The mushrooms are sautéed with parsley and garlic, which is called funghi trifolati in Italy. Together with the deep fried fennel I posted about yesterday and a good glass of white wine, this makes a great meal for Easter. Continue reading “Veal Rib Eye with Mushrooms”

Fabio’s Grandmother’s Meatballs (Le Polpette della Nonna di Fabio)

I had invited some Italian friends from Amsterdam for dinner. I thought it would be nice to cook something for them that their grandmother used to cook for them, something that they had fond memories of. My friend Fabio said his grandmother always made meatballs that were outstanding with a bit of lemon. This post is the result of my attempt to make Fabio’s grandmother’s meatballs, without having the actual recipe. Fabio liked them a lot and he was taking lots of pictures. When we were pestering him about taking so many pictures, he said he was going to send them to his grandmother. For the next attempt, we should probably just ask her for the recipe… Whether or not they were close to her original, they were great anyway. Here’s what I did… Continue reading “Fabio’s Grandmother’s Meatballs (Le Polpette della Nonna di Fabio)”

Bartolini-inspired Ravioli

The welcoming dinner for Conor and the wife was a full Italian cena consisting of four courses as explained here. We wished more of our blogging buddies could have joined us, but we tried to include them in spirit by cooking and eating their recipes. I used ChgoJohn’s recipe for a filling for cappelletti as inspiration for the ravioli for the primo piatto. The Bartolini family recipe for this stuffing includes pork, veal, spinach, cream cheese, pecorino, nutmeg, and lemon zest. I used ricotta instead of cream cheese and slightly different proportions, but I think it was pretty close to how ChgoJohn would … Continue reading Bartolini-inspired Ravioli

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Cordon Bleu was one of my favorite dishes as a kid. I hadn’t eaten it for years, but when I was thinking about what to do with the organic chicken breast I had left from the whole chicken I had used to make brodo for tortellini, I decided it would be nice to make cordon bleu again. It can’t be a surprise that cordon bleu is really good if made from scratch with good chicken, good ham, and good cheese. It is quite different from something store-bought where the ham, cheese, and chicken are probably all of the ‘processed’ variety. Cordon … Continue reading Chicken Cordon Bleu

Amazing Sous-Vide Vitello Tonnato

If you’ve never had vitello tonnato before, you probably think veal and tuna are an unlikely pair. But in fact this classic dish from the Piemonte region in Italy (called vitel tonnà in the Piemontese language) is a great combination. Traditionally, vitello tonnato is made by poaching the “girello” cut of “Fassone” veal (a prized Piemontese breed of veal) in a stock with aromatic vegetables and white wine, sliced thinly and served with a sauce of canned tuna, hard-boiled eggs, capers, anchovies, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and a bit of the cooking liquid. Girello (also known as tondino … Continue reading Amazing Sous-Vide Vitello Tonnato

Classic Ossobuco alla Milanese sous-vide

Ossobuco is a classic Italian dish from Milan that most people know as veal shanks braised in tomato sauce. Originally, the veal shanks were actually braised in veal stock with just a hint of tomato. I like this classic version, because it gives a meatier flavor. With sous-vide cooking, you could braise the veal shanks at a lower temperature to obtain a different texture. This time, I’ve used Modernist Cuisine’s recommendation for veal shanks, which is 72 hours at 62C/144F. The meat comes out with a classic flaky structure and is very flavorful but just a bit dryish, and that’s … Continue reading Classic Ossobuco alla Milanese sous-vide

Veal scaloppine with Eggplant and Mozzarella (Scaloppine alla Melanzana e Mozzarella)

A well-known and excellent antipasto (that I haven’t posted about yet, but I will at some point) is involtini of roasted eggplant, mozzarella and basil. Years ago I thought it would be nice to combine this with veal scaloppine and a bit of tomato sauce. I really loved the result and made it often when I had guests over for dinner. I hadn’t made it for a few years until yesterday, and liked it as much as before. It’s not difficult to make but the taste is very impressive. Ingredients For 4 servings 4 veal scaloppine (around 120 grams/4 oz each), … Continue reading Veal scaloppine with Eggplant and Mozzarella (Scaloppine alla Melanzana e Mozzarella)

Saltimbocca alla Romana (Veal scaloppine with prosciutto and sage)

Saltimbocca literally means “jump in the mouth” because it’s so delicious. Fortunately, it’s just as easy to make them as they are delicious. There are many variations of saltimbocca, some even substitute veal for chicken or pork, but the constant factor is the mouth-watering combination of tender veal scaloppine with prosciutto di Parma and fresh sage. Some use butter, some use olive oil. Some use flour to dust before cooking, others don’t. Some cook the prosciutto side first, some the veal side. Some put the sage on the outside, others on the inside. Some use veal or chicken stock for … Continue reading Saltimbocca alla Romana (Veal scaloppine with prosciutto and sage)