Etna Rosso & Veal Bolognese

Etna Rosso with Veal Bolognese

Etna Rosso with Veal Bolognese


Are you familiar with Etna Rosso? This wine is from Sicily and offers fantastic value.

Etna Rosso is a volcanic wine rich in minerals produced with at least 80% Nerello Mascalese and up to 20% Nerello Cappuccio.

Nerello Mascalese is a noble red grape that thrives on the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily with nuances of red berries, cranberry, aromatic spices, woodsy herbs, thyme, dried flowers, and mineral characteristics.

Nerello Cappuccio is usually used in a blend and rarely as a varietal because of its lack of tannins. This grape variety adds elegance with flavors of red cherries and softens the grippy tannins in Nerello Mascalese. It makes for a perfect blending partner!

2017 Gambinowinery Gambino Vini Tifeo Etna Rosso appears itself in a translucent ruby red reminiscent of an elegant Oregon Pinot Noir with delicate aromas and flavors of cherry and raspberry, tobacco leaves, forest floor, leather, and cocoa. The tannins are silky and showcase a high level of acidity leading to a long finish with a sultry mineral freshness.

Food pairing:

Mouth-watering Veal Bolognese over Pappardelle. This dish is made using wholesome ingredients and is a shorter version than the original long-simmered sauce. The recipe is on page 82 of my cookbook. It makes a dazzling pairing because the level of acidity in the tomato sauce and that of the wine interweave harmoniously, Bam!

Happy Cooking & Sipping!
Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures:
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier & Italian Wine Scholar Student (Prep course completed)
Winner of 2019 Italian Wines “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award, held in Puglia, Italy
Brand Strategist

Rustic Style Pasta with Veal, Porcini Mushrooms and Spinach

This flavorful dish is inspired by the mountainous region of Abruzzo, where you will find an abundance of porcini mushrooms.  The recipe was developed, and written by Mario Batali. I have followed his method, and prepared it many times in my kitchen. He recommends using Farfalle, a pasta shape, commonly known as bow-ties, but it literally means, butterflies in Italian.  You can also use other short pastas, such as Rotini, corkscrew-shaped as shown on my featured image. They both work well, and absorb the sauce nicely.  It’s always a big hit in my kitchen, and perfect for feeding a small crowd.  The name of the original recipe is: Farfalle Abruzzese With Veal, Porcini and Spinach.  Mario brilliantly combines veal, double concentrated tomato paste, and porcini mushrooms to create this culinary masterpiece. Make sure you caramelize the tomato paste to get a rust color, and the result will be a stupendous rustic dish packed with layers of deep flavors. Make it for a dinner party, and your guests will think that the sauce has simmered for hours.

Farfalle Abruzzese with Veal, Porcini and Spinach

Excerpted from “Molto Batali” (ecco, 2011)

Serves 8 to 10 as a first course, 6 as a main
Level of difficulty – medium


3 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups hot water for 10 minutes

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 ½ pounds ground veal shoulder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup double-concentrated tomato paste *

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup basic tomato sauce (for quick results, try my Mario Batali pasta sauces)

1 ½ pounds farfalle pasta (butterfly shaped pasta)

8 ounces baby spinach, trimmed

½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano


1. Drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid, and coarsely chop the porcini. Strain the soaking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, and set it aside.

2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it is lightly toasted. Add the veal and the chopped porcini, and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the meat is well browned, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the tomato paste. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the paste turns a rust color, 5 minutes. Then add the wine and 1 cup of the strained porcini soaking liquid, and cook for 5 minutes, until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Add the tomato sauce and reduce the heat to a very low simmer.

3. Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large spaghetti pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt.

4. Drop the farfalle into the water and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructions indicate. Just before the pasta is done, carefully ladle ¼ cup of the cooking water into the veal mixture. Stir the baby spinach into the veal mixture.

5. Drain the pasta in a colander, and add it to the veal mixture. Toss over medium heat for about 30 seconds, until the pasta is nicely coated. Pour into a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately, with the grated pecorino on the side.

From “Molto Batali”

* You can find the double concentrated tomato paste at Italian specialty stores. If not, use 1/2 cup of regular tomato paste, but remember, the secret is to caramelize it on high flame to obtain that deep rust color. (My notes)

My wine suggestion: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a delightful red wine from the Abruzzo region of Italy.

Rustic Style Pasta with Veal, Porcini Mushrooms and Spinach

Rustic Style Pasta with Veal, Porcini Mushrooms and Spinach

Recipe: Adaptation of Mario Batali’s:  Farfalle Abruzzese With Veal, Porcini and Spinach

Photo credit: Foodiewinelover

Veal Marsala




photo (8)


photo (9)

Another year has gone by, but all in all, it’s been a good one for me. This past summer, I made my entrance into the blogging world, and it’s been a fun journey. I would like to dedicate this blogpost to my dear friend Anna who lives in Sicily.  She has been a great source of inspiration in my life, and I am glad to call her, friend. She is a gastronome and enjoys good food. In my family we live to eat and we are constantly looking for new ideas to satisfy our palates. One of the dishes that is part of my repertoire is Veal Marsala. It is so easy and scrumptious, and you can certainly substitute the veal for chicken. Marsala is a city in beautiful Sicily, where this wonderful wine is produced. There are two kinds, one is sweet, normally used in desserts, and the other one is on the dry side, and recommended for savory dishes.

I am so pleased to share my recipe with all of you. By now, you should know that I cook for a crowd, but most of my recipes can easily be divided in half to accommodate smaller crowds.

Serves: 7 -8  Degree of difficulty: Easy – Moderate


  • 3 lbs veal scaloppini, (thinly-sliced) cook in 3 batches
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup Marsala wine, dry
  • 16 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup water from pasta, if necessary
  • 6 tbsp. olive and 5 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 lb. of spaghetti or pasta of your choice


1) Season veal with salt and pepper. Drench in flour and remove all excess. On Medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter, pan fry veal for 2 minutes on one side and 1 minute on the other side. Do not overcook as it can get chewy. Remove from pan and set aside. You will repeat this process in two other batches. If the bottom of the pan is dirty, clean it before using it again.

2) In the same pan, add 2 tbsp. of butter and sauté the mushrooms. Deglaze with the wine. Put the veal back in the pan and simmer for a couple of minutes. If you need more gravy, simply add a little pasta water.  Serve with your favorite pasta shape. This is a delicious dish and very simple to follow. I hope you will give it a try in your kitchen, because your loved ones will savor every bite, and ask for more.

Wishing all of you a Wonderful & Healthy New Year, and lots of Happy Cooking!

Cheers, and Bon Appetit from Gina’s Kitchen!


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