Grace Parisi’s Pappardelle with Veal Ragù

Serves: 8

The most viewed recipe on my blog is consistently Gordon Ramsay’s Slow Braised Beef Ragù with Pappardelle.

An amazing dish as I wrote up 6 years ago.

Recently we have cooked this Ragù twice and it is just as wonderful.

Simple like Ragù is, though just as rich as an amazing Ragù is and should be.

For me, a long Italian lunch in the sun – one white pasta, one red pasta – is the absolute definition of heaven.

I commend this Ragù to your next such session.

Have a medium-bodied Chianti Classico ready to go and it is bliss.


2kg boneless veal shoulder, cut into large chunks*
Salt and freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground fennel
1 1/2 c dry red wine
4 c chicken or veal stock
1 1/2 tbsp minced rosemary
1kg fresh pappardelle
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to serve
Chopped, fresh Italian Parsley to serve


  1. Season the veal with salt and pepper and dust with flour, tapping off the excess. In a large, heavy casserole, heat 1/4 of the olive oil. Add the veal and cook over a moderately high heat until browned all over. Transfer the veal to a plate and do in batches if need be.
  2. Turn the heat down to low, add the remaining 1/4 c oil to the casserole. Stir in the onion, garlic, coriander and fennel and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the wine and boil until reduced to 1/3 c. Add the tomatoes and cook over a moderately high heat for 5 minutes. Add the stock and rosemary and bring to a boil. Add the veal, cover partially and cook over a low heat until falling apart and thickened. 3 – 5 hours.
  3. Cook the Pappardelle in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, add the Ragù and toss over a low heat until the pasta is coated. Serve with the cheese and parsley.

* I’ve found it increasingly hard to source veal, which could be in-line with questions about the ethics of its consumption. I persevered and got there in the end. One butcher told me the issue is that he wouldn’t sell veal if he couldn’t verify it. Not sure what the answer is. We used veal chuck which broke down beautifully after 5 hours, twice.

Osso Buco Alla Milanese

Serves: 4

Osso Buco is typically associated with a robust tomato sauce, though that is not how it is traditionally done. Osso Buco is in fact a Northern Italian dish and tomatoes do not feature nearly as prominently as they do in the South.

This dish is served with gremolata and is much more delicate than the tomato variety. I love gremolata and this dish is clean and fun, especially without the tomatoes.

Serve with some sautéd brussel sprouts and some Parmesan mash and you’re onto a winner.


12 pieces of veal shank
Plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
¼ cup olive oil
60g butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 lemon, zest peeled, finely chopped
Good handful of parsley, finely chopped
250ml white wine
1 bay leaf
Pinch of allspice
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Thin lemon wedges to serve


2 tsp grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, finely chopped


  1. Dust the veal with the seasoned flour.
  2. Heat the oil, butter and garlic in a large heavy saucepan big enough to hold the shanks in a single layer. Put the shanks in the pan and cook for 12 to 15 minutes until well browned.
  3. Arrange the shanks, standing them up in a single layer, pour in the wine and add the bay leaf, allspice and cinnamon. Cover the saucepan.
  4. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes and then add ½ cup of water. Continue cooking for between 45 mins and 1 hour, until the meat is tender. Check the volume of the water from time to time and add water if needed.
  5. Transfer the veal to a plate and keep warm. Discard the garlic clove and bay leaf.
  6. To make the gremolata, mix together the lemon zest, parsley and garlic.
  7. Increase the heat under the saucepan and stir for 1-2 mins until the sauce is thick, scraping up any bits off the bottom of the saucepan. Stir in the gemolata and season, and return the veal to the sauce.
  8. Heat through and then serve with lemon wedges.

Donna Hay’s classic spaghetti and meatballs

Yes, they are not cooked at this point.

Serves: 4 – 6

Nat and I don’t have nearly as many long, liquid lunches as we would like to.

But on occasions, the stars align and there we are, contemplating a third dessert whilst working our way through the cheese plate and a fancy red of some description.

Cooking and eating pasta is also about a rare as these long lunch occasions.

And that’s because the two are linked.

For you should only eat pasta when nothing else will do.

And nothing else will do than pasta after a long lunch and a few bottles of vino.

And so here we were, a long lunch at Gowings completed and ready for our pasta hit.

Enjoy this one. It is everything you’ll want and nothing you won’t. Just make sure you make it in advance like I did.


1½ c fresh white breadcrumbs
½ c milk
500g veal (or beef) mince
500g pork mince
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ c sage leaves, finely chopped
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, extra, crushed
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 c (250ml) beef stock
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
¼ c thyme leaves, chopped
500g spaghetti
1 c basil leaves
Finely grated parmesan, to serve


  1. Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the milk is absorbed.
  2. Add the beef and pork mince, eggs, garlic, sage, salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Using wet hands, roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a deep, large frying pan over high heat. Cook the meatballs in batches, turning frequently, for 4–5 minutes or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining oil, onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 5–7 minutes or until lightly golden. Add the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar, stir to combine and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper, stir to combine and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the meatballs and simmer for 15–20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and the meatballs are cooked through.
  6. While the meatballs are cooking, place the spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted boiling water and cook for 8–10 minutes or until al dente.
  7. Drain and serve the spaghetti topped with the meatballs, basil leaves and parmesan.

Roast Fillet of Veal in Parmesean Crust

Serves 4

This is a really special dish.

I found it in Delicious magazine; the recipe is by Orlando Murrin, a British cook and food writer who spent years in south-west France running a guest house and cooking.

I served the veal with Pommes Dauphinoise, and it was the wicked combination of the veal itself, the veal stock and wild mushrooms and the amazing baked potatoes that pushed the meal into the memory category. I just love veal, and the crust kept it moist and beautifully tender right through to serving.

At the time of cooking this, I had only very rarely cooked with veal stock and hours before starting, I ran into a culinary wall – I certainly hadn’t made my own veal stock, I couldn’t find any at the butchers I visited and all I had was Veal Glaze, a serious reduction of veal stock, with nothing of the consistency of the stock I needed.

My good friend and chef Benjamin came through and I provide the following advice, if only because the web is surprisingly murky on the ropic of veal glaze, and in fact several people said it was not possible to reverse the glaze into stock!

On the basis I needed 425ml stock, I made a cup (250ml) of half beef, half chicken stock and the rest, glaze; around half stock, half glaze. Ben was completely right; the glaze doesn’t overpower despite what you might think, and really just softens the beef stock.

I’ll probably make veal stock next time; everyone online raves about it, and apparently Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry restaurant fame) does an extraordinary interpretation worth every hour it takes.


For the veal

750g fillet of veal
1 egg, beaten
2 anchovy fillets, mashed
1 garlic clove, crushes
1 2/3 cups (120g) fine fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup (25g) grated parmesean

Wild Mushroom Sauce

175g mixed mushrooms (such as Swiss brown, chestnut and field) – I roughly chopped them
175g chilled, unsalted butter, chopped plus 20g to cook mushrooms
1 eschalot, finely chopped
100ml white wine
425ml veal stock


  1. Preheat oven to 200c.
  2. The veal should be a tubular shape, and if necessary, pin flaps and so forth with skewers. Season well.
  3. Mix egg, anchovy and garlic and brush all over the veal.
  4. Mix crumbs and cheese and press over the veal to completely cover.
  5. Put on a rack in a roasting pan and allow to come to room temperature.
  6. Roast veal for 25 – 30 minutes, turning once until the meat is medium rare and the temperature taken in the thickest part is 52c.
  7. Rest for 10 – 15 minutes, loosely tented with foil; this will prevent the crumbs from softening.
  8. For the sauce, fry the mushrooms in a knob of butter over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until brown.
  9. Add eschalot and lightly brown for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the wine and stock. Bring to the boil then strain into a clean saucepan, reserving the mushrooms.
  10. Boil the stock for 18 – 20 minutes over medium-high heat to reduce to 150ml.
  11. When ready to serve, keep the sauce at a low simmer and gradually beat in the butter until thick and glossy. Add the mushrooms and heat through.
  12. Carve the veal into thin slices, then serve with the sauce.

Veal with Fennel Salt

Serves: 2

I pulled this recipe from a Sunday paper.

Assuming you’re good with veal, this is a great number to whip up on a Sunday night.

I oven roasted some thinly sliced potatoes to go with it plus a glass of Pinot Gris.

Sunday papers are OK!


1 tbsp sea flakes
1 tbsp of fennel seeds
2 veal cutlets
Green leaves (rocket, spinach, lettuce)
1 Fennel
Squeeze of lemon
Olive Oil


  1. Pound the salt and fennel seeds in a mortal and pestle.
  2. Brush the veal cutlets with olive oil and rub the salt mixture into the veal. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Grill the veal for 3 – 4 minutes on each side over a medium-high heat until medium-rare.
  4. Thinly slice the fennel and combine with the green leaves. Just before serving, dress with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.