Tag Archives: Veal

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: https://foodiewinelover.com/product/cookbook/
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




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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!


Veal Meatballs with Pecorino Cheese & Sweet Italian Sausage

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A few weeks ago, hubby asked me to cook for his golfing buddies, since they were playing near the house. I gracefully agreed, and decided to make some veal meatballs over spaghetti. When cooking for a hungry crowd, pasta is always a good idea. I could have easily made a meat sauce, but I decided to get a little fancy, and made meatballs with Pecorino cheese. These delicious meatballs were inspired by D’Angelo Pizza and Wine Bar, but I created my version.

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Serves 8-10     Degree of difficulty: Medium – Difficult

This recipe can easily be divided in half. I am sharing it with you, because I was cooking for a crowd and needed a lot sauce. Normally, I recommend using a marinara sauce for these meatballs, as veal is a more delicate meat, and they can easily fall apart if don’t watch them carefully. In general, marinara is much quicker, where the standard sauce is a slow cooking process. Do not use the sausage in the marinara, as it will crowd the sauce too much. The veal by itself will make a nice appetizer to serve at a party, and will wow your guests. You can also serve them with a side of ricotta cheese. As you can see, there are many variations to this dish.


  • 3 lbs. ground veal
  • 12 oz Pecorino Romano cheese, grated, divided in half
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  •  3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • A large handful of chopped Italian parsley, flat-leave
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lbs of Spaghetti or any pasta of your choice


1) First, prepare the meatballs. In a large bowl, place the ground veal, breadcrumbs,  6 oz of grated cheese, milk, garlic, onion, seasonings, parsley and eggs. Combine all the ingredients and mix well with your hands. If you are a beginner cook, I suggest you use an ice cream scoop with handles to form your meatballs. Place them on a greased pan, and  bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 – 12 minutes. Turn them halfway through, to get color on both sides. Remove and set aside. You can certainly pan-fry them also, but it would take a little more work. There is no need to fully cook them as they will continue to cook in the sauce. Yields about 25-26 meatballs using the ice cream scoop.

Ingredients for the sauce: 

  •  4 lbs. sweet Italian sausage with fennel
  • 3 – 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 container of Pomi chopped tomatoes, or other brand
  • 1 Cento, (size #10 can) fully prepared Spaghetti sauce *
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • Oregano, salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water
  • a pinch or two of sugar, optional


1) In a large pot, over med-high heat, add 2 tbsp. olive oil, and brown the sausages (whole)  on both sides.  You will do this in batches. Next, cut the sausage links in 3 pieces each. Set aside.

2) In the same pot, add more olive oil to brown the tomato paste. Cook and stir, until you get a nice caramelization, add the chopped tomatoes, the prepared sauce, the seasonings, sugar and the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Add the meatballs and the sausage in the sauce. Simmer covered for 2 – 2.5 hours, while stirring FREQUENTLY to avoid burning on the bottom of the pot.  Always taste for flavor and adjust seasoning as needed.

3) When sauce is nearly done, boil the water for the spaghetti and cook according to package directions.

Please note, I took a big chance by simmering the veal for so long, 10 more minutes I would have had a meat sauce. I strongly suggest you do a marinara sauce for them, which will take about 30 minute to 45 minutes. I have been in the kitchen for 25 years and love to experiment and take chances. (making a funny face)

*This is not my typical sauce, because I was cooking for a large crowd, it was convenient for me to use that large can of prepared sauce, which can be found at Italian specialty stores. I occasionally change the brand in the quest for a perfect sauce.

Recommended sauce for the Veal Meatballs (for about 12) 

Ingredients for Marinara sauce: 

  •  1 – 2  28 oz can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano is ideal as they are known for their sweetness, but they will cost you a bit more.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pepper flakes, optional
  • 2-3 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of Chardonnay, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of water


Heat olive oil in med-sized pan, and saute’ the garlic. As soon, as they release their aromas, deglaze with wine, add tomatoes, water, seasonings and simmer covered for about 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally. This marinara is enough for about 1 lb. of  pasta and 10 – 12 meatballs. (About half of the recipe above, more or less) PLEASE BEWARE, THE SAUCE WILL SPATTER, KEEP IT ON LOW AND USE A LID AS A SHIELD.

Now, that everything is cooked, it’s time to serve. I normally, place all the meal on the table, but in this case, I had everyone come up to me in the kitchen with their dishes, so I could have control  over the portions. They were very big eaters, and I wanted to make sure, I had enough for everyone.

With the holidays upon us, I hope,  you will try these meatballs with the marinara sauce. Not only, they will look festive, but I can assure you, they will be the talk of the town.

Happy Cooking and Happy Holidays From Gina’s Kitchen!

Wine pairing suggestion:  Chianti from the region of Tuscany. A luscious and widely popular wine made mostly from the red Sangiovese grapes.



Veal Bolognese over Pappardelle

The traditional Bolognese sauce originated in Bologna, the capital of Emilia-Romagnia,  a famous region in northern Italy, north of  Florence.  It is commonly called Ragu Bolognese. There are different versions,  just like you will find different versions of  tomato sauce and pizza.  The Bolognese is always a meat-based sauce, usually veal, with some carrots, onions and tomato sauce. Milk or cream can also be added to give it a more authentic feel. Today, I will share with you my version of the Bolognese sauce.  It is quick, easy, delicious and you can double up the recipe to feed a large crowd.


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Browning the pancetta

Sweating the veggies

Browning the veal

Cooked Pasta

Voila! Dinner is ready


  • 1 – 1/2 lbs ground veal
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 chopped tomato (Pomi) or any other brand,  about 26 oz
  • 1 strained tomato (Pomi) or any other brand,  about 26 oz
  • 1/2 cup water and more pasta water, if needed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 – 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 lb pancetta, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Flat leave parsley, chopped, to garnish
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (Parmesan cheese)
  • 1 lb. Pappardelle pasta

Degree of difficulty:  Easy
Serves 4  (hungry) people as a main meal
This recipe takes a minimum of  45 minutes to an hour to prepare, but you can extend the cooking  up to 2 hours if you have the time. You will need to add water occasionally, and stir constantly to reduce the sauce. The flavors will be more infused and you will get a richer sauce.  However, this recipe is a quicker version for today’s busy lives , and the best part of it, your loved ones will not know the difference.


1)  On medium-high heat, in a 6-8 quart stock pan, heat oil, brown pancetta, 2-3 minutes, remove and set aside.

2)  There will be some oil left in the pot, add the onions, carrots and garlic  and sweat for about 2-3 minutes.

3)  Add veal, brown for about 5 minutes by stirring occasionally, then add tomato paste,  continue to brown until you get a nice caramelization.

4)  Add strained and chopped tomatoes, pancetta, 1/2 cup water, salt & pepper, oregano. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes on low heat. Stir occasionally to avoid the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  If you feel like the sauce is too thick, add some pasta water. Remember, this is a meat sauce and it is supposed to be thick and not watery, therefore, use your judgement.

5)  On another burner, get the water boiling for your pappardelle or whatever pasta you’re using, cook according to package directions.

6)  Drain pasta, (save some water if you need it for the sauce) and pour it over the meat sauce. Make sure all the pasta is nicely coated and serve immediately. If you let it sit, the pasta will absorb all the sauce and it will become dry. Have the grated Parmigiano Reggiano at the table for individual use. If you don’t feel comfortable serving it this way, place pasta in bowls and pour sauce over each one. Sprinkle chopped  parsley to garnish it and give it your personal touch.

I paired this Bolognese with a delicious Rosso di Montalcino that went together magically.  You certainly can use a nice Chianti instead, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. I promise you, your loved ones will thank you for this amazing dish. They will think you spend the entire day in the kitchen to create this delectable and hearty meal.  With winter around the corner for some of you, this meat sauce will keep you warm and your belly satisfied.  I hope you will try this recipe and have fun with it.

Disclosure, I don’t get paid to advertise products on here,  I use whatever brand I have in my pantry at the time of cooking. I like to change it up anyway and experiment. That’s what makes cooking fun and interesting (at least for me).   Use whatever brand you prefer, be daring and have confidence.  If you view cooking as a chore, it will be boring and uninteresting, but if you cook with passion, you will enjoy every step, and your meal will always be a success. I must admit, I enjoy getting compliments from my family because  it encourages me to cook more for them. I’m not perfect and I’ve made a few mistakes in the kitchen, but I learned from them.  The only way you’re gonna learn and create your signature dish is by experimenting.  There is always room for improvement and I welcome feedback. I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog, and will give my recipe a try soon.

Cheers and Happy Cooking from Gina’s Kitchen!











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