Ossobuco

Ossobuco

Ossobuco is a classic Milanese dish that pairs perfectly with another specialty from the Lombardy region, saffron infused Risotto alla Milanese. The name Ossobuco literally translates to “bone with a hole” which is a reference to the marrow filled hole in the center of the veal shank. You might be tempted to skip the tying of the veal shanks, but if you do you risk ending up with the meat separating completely from the bone and falling apart into the sauce. If you are not comfortable tying them yourself, ask your butcher to do it for you when you purchase them. Ossobuco Recipe Serves 4 4 tablespoons olive oil 4 veal shanks cut about 3 inches thick, each tied tightly cross-wise flour, spread on a plate 1 small onion chopped fine 2 carrots chopped fine 2 stalks of celery chopped fine 3/4 cup dry white wine 4 tablespoons butter 1-1/2 cups chicken broth 1 cup imported Italian tomatoes, crushed with their juices freshly ground pepper to taste salt to taste Heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sautè pan over medium heat. Dredge the veal shanks in the flour, coating on all sides and shake off the excess flour. When the oil is hot, slip in the shanks and brown them on all sides. Remove the veal shanks and reserve. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and reduce for two minutes, scraping loose the browning residues stuck to the bottom of the pan. Then add the reserved veal shanks back to the...
Short Rib Ragu

Short Rib Ragu

A ragu is a slow cooked meat based sauce, and there as many variations as there are regions in Italy. I have posted a couple of versions of Ragu alla Bolognese in the past, but strangely enough I have never featured a Southern Italian ragu. This is especially perplexing, considering I am Sicilian, and grew up having this type of meal on Sundays. Ragus from the south are usually made by cooking large pieces of beef and/or pork in sauce for hours until tender. Then the sauce is spooned over pasta for the primo or first course in a meal, and the meat is served separately as the main course.You can put beef and pork ribs, sausage and even meatballs in, but I decide to keep mine simple and just make a nice beef short rib ragu, with some diced pancetta thrown in to add a little pork flavor. Finally, while I said the meat is usually served as a separate course, you can also opt to pull it off the bone, shred it up and mix it back in with the sauce, if you are just looking to make pasta with a hearty sauce. Enjoy! Short Rib Ragu Recipe Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 3 hours | Total time: 3 hours and 15 min Serves 4-6 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 small yellow onion, chopped fine 1 stalk celerey, chopped fine 1 carrot, chopped fine 4 ounces pancetta, diced 4 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 2 inch pieces 2 35-ounce cans imported Italian peeled tomatoes 1 cup beef broth salt and freshly ground black...
Roasted Rabbit with Sausage and Potatoes

Roasted Rabbit with Sausage and Potatoes

I thought about calling this rustic dish Coniglio alla Contadina, which would loosely be translated to Farmer’s Style Rabbit. Especially, because I used my own homemade sausage and home cured bacon, when I made it, as I imagine would be done on a farm in the Italian countryside. Rabbit is a lot more common on the menu in Italy than it is in America, because many people here don’t want to eat the cute little “Easter Bunny”. However, attitudes here are changing, more people are appreciating it and it is appearing on more menus. Of course, if you don’t want to do rabbit or can’t find it, this recipe works very well with chicken also. What are your feelings on rabbit? Do you eat it? Would you eat it? Please share in the comments. Roasted Rabbit with Sausage and Potatoes Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 1 hour | Total time: 1 hour and 15 min Serves 4 1 pound yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped 3 cloves garlic, smashed 8 ounces pancetta, diced 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup white wine 1 3-4 pound rabbit cut into serving pieces 1 pound italian sausage salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Pre-heat the oven to 400° F. In large bowl, toss together the potatoes, rosemary, thyme, garlic, pancetta and two tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt & pepper. Transfer into a roasting pan, pour in the white wine and place in the oven. Cook the potatoes by themselves for 40...
Porchetta

Porchetta

In Italy, Porchetta is a deboned pig, stuffed and rolled, and there are many versions depending on the region. I wanted to make Porchetta, but was not quite up to deboning and stuffing a pig, so I decided to do what you might consider “Porchetta Lite”. After doing some searching through recipe books and on the interwebs to see what other people have done, I saw a few variations. Some used pork loin, some pork shoulder, some pork belly. I even came across a few that used pork loin wrapped in pork belly! Again, that seemed like a bit of overkill to me. I figured Pork belly suffed with some Tuscan inspired herbs and garlic and rolled up would make for a delicious and easy porchetta in a home oven. I was right, it turned out great.   Porchetta Recipe Serves 8 4 lb boneless pork belly, with the skin on 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced 2 teaspoons coarse salt 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling salt and freshly ground black pepper Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lay the pork skin side down on a work surface, and with a sharp knife, make a few slits in the flesh. In a small bowl, mix together the sage, rosemary, garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the mixture all over the exposed surface of the belly, working it into the cuts in the flesh. Roll up the pork belly and tie tightly with butcher’s twine. Place rolled and tied belly in a...
Sunday Dinner: Green and White Pappardelle Bolognese

Sunday Dinner: Green and White Pappardelle Bolognese

A few weeks back I was at Borgatti’s pasta shop, down in the Arthur Avenue area in the Bronx. While I was waiting for my ravioli I saw the guy at the counter cutting up some sheets of green(spinach) and white pasta into pappardelle. It looked so good I thought of getting some for myself, but ended up leaving with just the ravioli. The image of that pappardelle haunted me the rest of the day, I really regretted not getting some. On the way back to Connecticut, we stopped at my parent’s house, and I told my Mom about it. “That would be great with Bolognese sauce,” Mom said. “I love Pappardelle Bolognese.” The seed was officially planted. This past Sunday I did not make it down to Arthur Avenue, but I did buy some sheets of green and white pasta from a local pasta shop. I took them home and cut them into pappardelle, which are usually 3/4 to 1 inch wide ribbons of pasta, and substituted them into my Tagliatelle alla Bolognese recipe. Perfect for Sunday dinner. So, that’s my recommendation to you for Sunday dinner this weekend, make a nice Bolognese sauce and toss it with some fresh pappardelle pasta. If you can find both spinach and regular pasta, great. If not just use white. Substitute it for the tagliatelle in the recipe below and you are good to go. Recipe: Tagliatelle alla...
Sunday Dinner: Cotoletta alla Bolognese

Sunday Dinner: Cotoletta alla Bolognese

Earlier in the week I featured a recipe for Veal Cutlets Milanese that was pretty popular. So, I thought I would keep the cutlet theme going by recommending a very different style from The Italian Chef archives for your Sunday dinner this week. The Veal Cutlets of Trattoria Battibecco is a variation on Bolognese Style Veal Cutlets that we got permission to reprint from the excellent cookbook Biba’s Italy: Favorite Recipes from the Splendid Cities by Biba Caggiano. The cutlets are coated in Parmagianno-Reggiano cheese before being breaded and fried, topped with Prosciutto di Parma and Fontina cheese, then finished in a reduction of cream, butter and broth. The last time I made this I served it with some asparagus tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper then baked in the oven at 350 degrees until tender (about 10 to 15 minutes). Recipe: The Veal Cutlets of Trattoria...