Osso Buco WHAT YOU WILL NEED 2 veal shanks, bone in 1 tablespoons kosher salt 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 cup all-purpose flour 3

but also proteinaceous bean; Tuscans in particular are sometimes known — not always flatteringly — as mangiafagioli , or bean eaters, by the rest of the country. Specialties Made from It: Tuscan bread, considered by many to be the best in Italy, is generally unsalted. It may undergird soups, show up in salads ( panzanella ) and be toasted for appetizers (crostini). Pastas appear often — again, usually in fresh form, containing eggs and made from all-purpose flour, but sometimes are made from harder semole, or durumwheat, and different shapes are particular favorites in certain regions. It’s truly a heaven for starch lovers, with a Tuscan ravioli that’s plump and potato- stuffed, and the Tuscan specialty called pici , a thick, hand-rolled, spaghetti-like pasta. In Umbria, a similar pasta shape, thick though spaghetti-like, is found in strozzapreti ( priest chokers) or umbricelli (earthworms). Southern Regions Where: The ankle, foot and high heel of the boot of Italy, the South is where it’s warmer, drenched by ever more sun and sea, and there are islands: the autonomous region of Sicily, plus Capri, Ischia and Procida. Mountainous but with rich volcanic soil, every inch of land goes untilled. Main Grain(s): Wheat; durum wheat is one of the area’s principal crops. Specialties Made from It: Pasta, of course … and here the pasta is more likely to be dried, not fresh, and made with eggs and durum (semolina) wheat flour. This is the region from which the American-Italian bastardized red sauce came … but what a difference in fresher-than-fresh Italy. Not just the tomatoes,with that volcanic and sea- blown terroir, but the herbs, the artichokes, the olives and olive oil, the eggplant … all partner beautifully with pasta, as do fish and seafood from the omnipresent sea. Pizza originated in this part of the world, which is also cradle to savory, filled, yeasted doughs like calzone. And one can taste the millennia of trade and the foreign influences fromNorth Africa and elsewhere here; sweet-hot flavors mark many savory dishes. Favored regional pasta shapes have their sway here, too: Puglia has its famous orecchiette (little ears), while Sicily boosts busiate , a long pasta hand-rolled into fusilli, shaped around a stick or a piece of wire.

5. Scrape up the browned bits and add the tomatoes and chicken stock. 6. Place the veal shanks back in the pan, and submerge in the cooking liquid. 7. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the veal is tender and pulls easily from the bone. 8. While the Osso Buco is simmering, chop the parsley and lemon zest, and combine. 9. Before serving, add the lemon and parsley to the pot and stir. 10. Serve over the Polenta (see recipe). Polenta WHAT YOU WILL NEED 1 cup yellow cornmeal 5 cups chicken stock (or water) 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (or Parmesan, grated) Salt and pepper, to taste HOW TO PREP 1. Bring the chicken stock (or water) to a boil, then slowly add the cornmeal. Make sure to mix with a whisk while adding the cornmeal so no clumps form. 2. Bring mixture back to a boil until it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. 3. When the polenta pulls away from the side of the pan, add the butter and Parmigiano- Reggiano (or Parmesan) cheese and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.

tablespoons Rouses Sicilian Olive Oil

1 1 1 1 1 1

tablespoon butter, unsalted

medium onion, diced

cup celery, diced

cup carrot, peeled and diced cloves garlic, peeled and crushed


sprig rosemary

bay leaf


tablespoons red wine vinegar can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes


32 ounces chicken stock 2

tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped


tablespoon lemon zest

HOW TO PREP 1. Season the veal shanks with the salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour. Shake off excess. 2. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat, and brown the veal shanks. 3. Remove veal shanks from the pan after browning, and set aside. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic, and cook until translucent, brown and caramelized. 4. Add the rosemary sprig and bay leaf, then deglaze the pan with the red wine vinegar.

photo by Romney Caruso


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