This past week I returned from Italy still not satisfied as far as veal is concerned. I ate it several different ways, but not one single time with tomato. On the last night I ordered Osso Bucco in Milan, the signature dish of that fashionable city, waiting with eagerness for a bite of veal, delicately prepared with wine and tomato, falling off of my fork.
I was too late and they had none left.
A few days later I found myself in my kitchen craving pasta and veal and set to work to create a veal sugo for spaghetti, a dish that has quickly moved up the ranks of my favorites. A dish, so easy to prepare, that I don’t understand how I didn’t ever make this before.
A dish inspired by Milan, but not typically found there. Often the veal ossobucco is accompanied by risotto Milanese or polenta, a perfect companion to a rich tomato wine sauce. I once made Marcella Hazan’s recipe for Osso Buco here and served it over grits. Served with the traditional gremolada it was fantastic and the inspiration for today’s recipe.
This is one pasta dish that combines the protein with the pasta, much like a bolognese. So many Italian dishes separate these two, but I find this to be a most satisfying and comforting dish to celebrate Autumn when braising or slow cooking makes us all feel good.
You can make this on top of the stove or in the oven (as I did) in a cast iron pot, or put it in the crock pot and forget about it.
Unlike many tomato sauce recipes, this has a meat broth and white wine. While you will use the cheaper veal shoulder, don’t leave out the wine and broth because you don’t want to miss out on that complexity of flavor.
Get the Right Pasta for this Veal Italian Sauce Recipe
Enjoy this veal sugo on a wide noodle or a large spaghetti. I found a brand at my loal grocery store, La Molisana, which I highly recommend. They’ve been in the pasta business since 1912, and produce a chewy pasta with a substantial bite.
If you happen to find La Molisana, the spaghetti is thick and so much better than anything you can find in any similar price point.
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- 1 pound veal shoulder (hopefully with some bone)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 3 carrots, cubed
- 3 celery sticks, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1½ cups meat broth (or chicken broth)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 large can (about 3 cups) of chopped canned San Marzano Italian plum tomatoes
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- handful fresh Italian parsley
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Parmigiana reggiano
- 3-4 fresh sage leaves (optional)
- 1 pound spaghetti or wide noodle pasta order here
- Flour veal, brown in pan with olive oil. Set aside.
- in heavy bottomed pan saute onion, celery, carrots in butter. After five minutes, add garlic.
- Add wine, and deglaze pan.
- Add broth and herbs.
- Place veal over vegetables.
- Add tomatoes and herbs.
- Braise for three hours on very low in dutch oven at 300 degrees or in crock pot. You can also do simmer on top of stove, until veal falls apart.
- Remove herbs. Discard.
- Remove veal. Trim fat and bone and flake into pieces to be place back into sauce.
- Cook pasta according to directions. Use a very large pot for your pasta. This will give you a good ratio of boiling water to pasta and the water will reboil quicker. Salt the pot with 2 tablespoons salt right before you put the pasta in the water. Do not overcook. The pasta should have a firm bite, not snappy, but firm.
- Toss with sauce and serve with fresh parmigiana reggiano cheese.