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Veal with Anchovies

A couple of days ago I picked up a pizza at the long-running Pizza Man of Covington, the most interest pizzeria on the North Shore. I always get their enormous Italian salad when I’m there, and they know me well enough that they include eight or nine anchovies automatically. Anchovies get a bad rap from most people, but I love them. They pop up in a lot of unusual places. The oysters Rockefeller at Antoine’s, believe it or not, includes a few anchovies pureed into the sauce.

Chef Goffredo Fraccaro–owner of the now-extinct La Riviera, made a dish he called by its Italian name: vitello con acciughe. Veal with anchovies. The dish has a distinctly Italian flavor, with a much bigger flavor than we get from most veal dishes. I think you’d like it even if you’re not keen on the little salty fish.

Veal with anchovies and capers.

  • 12 white veal cutlets, 2 oz. each
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 anchovy fillets (two of them chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 black olives or 1 tsp. capers, pitted
  • 1 Tbs. chopped parsley

1. Pound out the veal between sheets of plastic wrap until very thin.

2. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Dust the veal with the seasoned flour and shake off any excess.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over a medium heat. Saute the veal until lightly browned–about a minute on each side. Remove the veal, drain, and keep warm.

4. Pour off the excess oil and lower the heat. Add half the butter, the two chopped anchovies, and garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant.

5. Add the wine and bring to a light boil. Return the veal to the pan and cook for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter. Add the chopped parsley.

6. Wrap the olives with anchovy fillets. Place two veal slices per person on the plates, and garnish with the anchovy-wrapped olives.

Serves six.

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