Veal Spezzatino and “ci vediamo!”

As we wrap up our 3-month stay here in the region of Marche, Italy, I’ve become sad. Sad because I will miss Christmas here, which will be a wonderful family-oriented affair; sad at no more afternoon walks along the olive groves; sad that taking a walk along a beach, so easy here, would be an all-day driving adventure in L.A. (even though we live only ten miles inland); and sad to not have access to the wonderful cooking ingredients that are so easy to find here but are completely absent in the USA. But I will remember that omnipresent Italian phrase: Ci vediamo! (We will see each other soon!)

The olive groves of Scapezzano

During our last full week here, the weather is cool with occasional rain. Winter is right around the corner. So, we invited my cousin’s son Francesco and his friends Andrea and Lorenzo over for dinner to taste and share a bottle of Tuscan Brunello that my sister brought on a visit from her apartment in Montalcino. I figured, with Brunello, I should make some Tuscan food – so ribollita and veal spezzatino were on the menu.

The velvet beach with La Rotonda di Senigallia in the distance

The recipes and the wine may have been Tuscan, but everything else was from the local area. The appetizers, veal, vegetables, beans–the only exception was the cheese, all the way from the Parma area — all of two hours distant! In fact, every single vegetable came from the same greengrocer (fruttivendolo) just down the hill, which proudly displays little “KM0” (0 kilometers away) signs to indicate the product is local. Shopping and eating local is not a new thing here – it’s the only thing!

So for now, ci vediamo, Italia! I will miss Italy, my family, new friends, the food, the wine, the beach and the slower pace of life. But we will be back in the springtime and I look forward to more adventures in my second home.

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Veal Spezzatino


  • Author: Joe
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

As with all Italian recipes, this one’s all about the quality of the ingredients. Seek out the best veal, vegetables and peas you can find! This dish goes well served over mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lbs veal stew meat
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stem
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare the vegetables: Peel the carrot. Dice the carrot, celery and onion into small (1/8-inch or so) cubes.
  2. Prepare the veal: If not cubed already, cut the veal into 1-inch cubes. Dry the veal with paper towels and liberally salt and pepper the pieces.
  3. In a medium-sized pot with a lid, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over a medium-high heat. In small batches, add and brown the veal pieces all over. Do not rush this step or overcrowd the pan. You want a medium-dark sear on all the pieces. Remove to a bowl.
  4. Add additional olive oil to the pan, heat and then add the chopped vegetables. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Stir, cover and cook over medium heat to “sweat” the vegetables. Stir occasionally until the vegetables are soft and take on a deep rich color.
  5. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Stir to scrape up all the brown bits in the pan from when you sautéed the veal.
  6. Add the veal back in and then cover with enough chicken broth to cover all the veal pieces. Add the tomato paste and dissolve it into the broth.
  7. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Taste the hot liquid and add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cover the pot and simmer for about 1-1/2 hours, gently stirring occasionally. Add more broth if needed to keep the veal covered. 
  9. Add the frozen peas and cover the pot. Cook for another 1/2 hour. Check a piece of veal for doneness. It should be falling-apart tender. If it’s still tough, continue to simmer until tender. Do not raise to a high boil as this will dry out the meat. 
  10. You can serve this dish immediately or cool, refrigerate and re-heat later.

Join the Conversation

  1. It sounds wonderful. This will definitely be a must for me & my family. Thank you for sharing your recipes and beautiful family with mine.






  2. Thank you for sharing. Veal is a favorite.

  3. When do you add the tomato paste?? Love your site and blogs!! Grazie!!

    1. Oops!!! That’s a mistake. Add with the broth and dissolve it in. I’ll update the recipe on the blog. Good catch! Joe

  4. Phyllis Ianniccari says:

    This is one of those dishes I’ve known all my life and was one of our bi-weekly dinners. If you are lucky enough to have some left over, it tastes even better the next day.

    1. Thank you and I agree!! This is such a tasty meaty dish but the peas really make it pop! And it is so much better the next day! Joe

  5. I made this 3 times already my family just love it, it’s a great dish thank you for sharing..Nancy






  6. Outstanding recipe. So happy how this turned out. From my Great grandfather’s region!






    1. Thank you so much! White wine in stew is a whole different thing than using red wine ! Joe

  7. Its on the stove right now smells delicious I will post again when its done,

    1. Joe Author says:

      ❤️

  8. Can I use crushed tomatoes??

    1. Yes, that would work fine. Since the crushed tomatoes will be a little more liquidy, I would add them earlier (with the wine) and cook them to concentrate a bit. Please let me know how it works out!! Joe

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