Saturday, March 31, 2012

Veal Scallopini.... Wait, let me explain.

It's been awhile since I posted, so I thought I would post something about this evening's dinner. Tonight I made veal scallopini, one of my favorite quick meals. Before you exclaim "you eat veal?!?!" and get on the animal rights rant in the comments section, let me explain. I was a vegetarian for over ten years. A few years ago, I read Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food, and I started to think more about meat. I had become a vegetarian for two reasons. First, I thought that the way meat was produced in this country was horrible for the animals and horrible for the consumer. Second, I came to believe that eating meat everyday was unhealthy. After reading Pollan's book and looking into local, natural meat farms, I suggested to my husband that we try eating meat now and then. If the meat was properly raised and we ate it once a week, I could stick to my original reasons for becoming a vegetarian and still get to eat bacon, something I did truly miss. A few months later we signed up for a meat CSA through Houde Family Farm in Vermont. At first I considered opting out of the veal, but I read on their website that the veal comes from grass-fed bulls from their dairy operation, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that veal in the context of farming makes practical sense. A farmer generally needs many more adult cows than bulls.

So, here is my general procedure for veal scallopini. I'm leaving out quantities, because it really does depend on how many people you're feeding and how much meat you have. My meat comes frozen in packages, so I had almost a whole pound of veal to cook, which means there are leftovers, and since the sauce is light, I made three ounces of pasta per person.


Veal cutlets



Sliced mushrooms


Grated cheese pecorino and/or parmigiano

Pepper (optional)

Pasta - rotini was this evening's choice


Put water on to boil. Heat butter and oil in a frying pan on medium high. Brown the cutlets and remove from the pan. Saute the mushrooms. Add cream and simmer on low until reduced by about half. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put the grated cheese in a serving bowl.

When the water is boiling, salt it, and cook the pasta. Drain the pasta and put it in the bowl with the cheese. Add the mushrooms and most of the cream to the pasta and mix thoroughly. Add pepper, if desired.

Add the cutlets back to the pan and finish cooking. Take care not to overook them. They get tough if cooked beyond medium.

Sometimes I make this with thin slices of red pepper cooked along with the mushrooms. Another option is to add peas to the cream sauce once the mushrooms are cooked. Tonight we had peas as a side dish. Buon appetito.



  1. It sounds delicious. So in this case veal is simply a young bull (not penned tightly to keep the meat white)? You have particularly good food options.

  2. Yes, veal is simply a young bull, not penned, in this case. There has been an amazing increase in small, natural meat farms here in the last ten years. It does provide us with wonderful options. The meat CSA we belong to delivers to our house once a month, which is particularly convenient for our no-car lifestyle.