Sometimes two is better than one. Such was the case recently when I went searching for recipes for veal Marsala. It was one of my favorite dishes growing up, when, more often than not, I enjoyed it when we went to my family’s favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. Perfectly sautéed thin slices of veal and mushrooms napped in a buttery sauce laced with savory Marsala were served accompanied by a potato croquet and sautéed string beams. There was never any variation. It was always delicious.
So, when I espied a pound of thinly sliced veal cutlets at my local market, memories of the dish induced me to pick them up; even the $30-per-pound price couldn’t stop me. Since I had never prepared them before (don’t ask me why), I decided to check out Marcella Hazan’s The Italian Classic Cookbook. And there it was: “Sautéed Veal Scaloppine with Marsala.” A simple recipe with just a few ingredients that required minimal preparation and only a few minutes of cooking time. But then I thought, “What about the mushrooms?” I turned to another favorite cookbook, Michele Scicolone’s 1000 Italian Recipes and discovered her version of the dish, “Veal with Marsala and Mushrooms.” Because I preferred Hazan’s treatment of the scaloppine, I used that recipe for the veal and Scicolone’s for the mushrooms.
The combination worked perfectly. The veal was tender and moist, while the mushrooms added a woodsy note that enhanced the earthy character of the Marsala. Owing to the judicious use of flour to coat the veal and the absence of cream found in other recipes, the sauce was lighter and didn’t overwhelm the flavor or the texture of the veal.
Sautéed Veal Scaloppine with Marsala and Mushrooms (adapted from the recipes cited above by Marcella Hazan and Michele Scicolone)
For the Mushrooms:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced thin
Freshly ground black pepper
For the Veal:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound veal scaloppine, thinly sliced and pounded flat to 1/4-inch thick
¾ cup all-purpose flour, spread on a plate or waxed paper
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, 5 to 6 twists of the mill
½ cup dry Marsala
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. In a large skillet, melt the butter with the oil over medium heat.
2. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring often until the mushrooms are tender and browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate and keep warm.
3. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet, preferably one big enough to accommodate all the veal without overcrowding. Otherwise, you will have to work in batches.
4. Dry the scaloppine with paper towels, removing any exceeds moisture.
5. Dip the scaloppine in the flour, coating them on both sides and shaking off any excess. (If you are going to brown the meat in batches, dip them in flour only as you are ready to brown them, otherwise the flour will get soggy and prevent the meat from browning properly.)
6. When the oil is quite hot, slip the scaloppine into the pan and quickly brown them on both sides, which should take less than a minute for each side if the oil is hot enough.
7. Transfer the browned meat to a warm platter, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
8. Tip the skillet and draw off most of the fat with a spoon.
9. Turn the heat on to high, add the Marsala, and boil briskly for less than a minute, scraping up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
10. Add the butter and any juices from the veal that may have accumulated on the platter.
11. When the sauce thickens, turn the heat down to low and add the mushrooms, followed by the scaloppine, turning them and basting them with sauce once or twice.
12. Transfer all to warmed plates and serve immediately.
Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Dolcetto, Pinot Noir
6 thoughts on “Veal Scaloppine with Mushrooms and Marsala”
This could easily be adapted even to chicken. Love that the sauce was lighter!
I totally agree, and at a better price.
Reblogged this on Table Wine.
You can’t beat Marcella Hazan for Italian Recipes. I am in the chicken camp with Dorothy.
I totally agree; she did for Italian cooing in the US what Julia did for French.