Thursday, 11 August 2011

Nonna Gemma's Veal Scallopine

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 Multicultural Inspiration from... Italy

It's common knowledge in my family that mum's mum, Nonna Gemma (Nonna is Italian for grandmother) is bloody fantastic in the kitchen. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve following Nonna around the Preston Market to gather all of our ingredients, then going back to her house, putting on an over-sized apron, and helping her make a big fat pot of risotto, or crostoli (traditional Northern Italian biscuits), with Nonno (grandfather) watching on and telling us we weren't doing it properly. Unfortunately for me though, Nonna rarely records any of her culinary genius on paper - she just knows what to do. So, you can imagine my excitement when one of Nonna's recipes was bestowed upon me at my Kitchen Tea party a month before our wedding last year! And not just any recipe - one of my favourites; Nonna's veal scalopine!

Luckily for me, I'm getting much better at cooking by instinct, because Nonna's recipes have absolutely no quantities or measurements. They're also written completely in Italian. Poor Sous-Jeff hasn't the foggiest idea what he was looking at when I got ready to cook this up. Thankfully, I understood every word!

My very treasured recipe is for veal scalopine - veal pieces coated in flour, and grilled in a fry pan with garlic, olive oil, mushrooms and white wine. I also like to serve it with polenta, because polenta brings back some of my most comforting and loving childhood memories :) And I threw some roast veggies in for the healthiness factor! Given that this recipe isn't technically a recipe, I haven't listen everything I did and used... but here's how it turned out...

And to my utter and complete joy, it tasted just like Nonna's!! I guess I must have been paying more attention than I thought when I used to watch her make it! If only I'd recorded how much of everything I'd used... must make it again!

And while I took a break in typing this up to grab some lunch, Kitchen Bug decided he'd keep my seat warm and try to contribute a bit too...

Over to you guys... do you have a famous family recipe that you've been able to successfully recreate? Or a pet who likes to help you blog?!


  1. CUTE! Is your little helper a Beagle x Cav? So cute!! I have a whippet who likes to help me in the veggie pach and gets his nose in the way all the time!

    I have similar food memories and instincts from my yiayia (greek grandmother). I too used to go to the Preston market with her and my pappou (grandfather)! Who knows, we may have even been there at the same time as children! She too doesn’t use quantities and its frustrating trying to replicate recipes but there are a few that I can make after watching her all these years. Although I still haven’t quite managed to get the Greek doughnuts right with cinnamon honey syrup!

  2. I love Italian food because it has such a rich history and culture eg great cooks within the family and I have no doubt your nonna is one. Would love to be able to sample real Italian home cooking which I am sure can be quite different from the restaurants. Your dog looks too cute!