Rigatoni with a Roasted Veal Sauce

Sunday, November 8, 2009


A few months back, I received an email from a friend of mine asking if I would be willing to chat about my blogging experiences with a friend of hers.  This friend already had a food blog and was thinking about making some changes.  Of course, I said I would be happy to do it.  Imagine my surprise when that friend of a friend turned out to be Lael Hazan, wife of celebrated cookbook author Giuliano Hazan and daughter-in-law of the legendary Marcella Hazan!   We made a date to meet for coffee and became fast friends.  Lael is a lovely  person and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her. She not only works beside her husband in their cooking school near Verona Italy, but she also teaches her own cooking classes, writes for several publications, blogs, hosts her own radio show and somehow manages to raise two adorable daughters as well.  Whew!  I get exhausted just thinking about it!


After Lael and I met, I went out and picked up a copy of Giuliano’s new book, Thirty Minute Pasta.  It’s a carbohydrate lovers dream, filled with one hundred quick and easy pasta recipes, ranging from soups and vegetarian dishes to classic meat and seafood preparations.  The recipes are straightforward and concise, leaving little room for error, which means anyone can be successful with them.  And, the photos are totally droolworthy!

One of my favorite recipes so far is for this Rigatoni with a Roasted Veal Sauce.  It’s a very simple dish that is designed to emulate the flavors of a classic pan-roasted veal rolled with pancetta and sage.  Instead of a veal roast that requires a long cooking time, this recipe calls for ground veal which can be cooked in minutes.  Brilliant!

The first thing you do is sauté some garlic, diced pancetta and fresh sage in butter. (Oh yes, I said butter!  You can put that EVOO away!)   Even though they’re not in the original recipe, I added some diced onions as well.  I just really like onions in my pasta sauce.


Next, add the ground veal and cook it until there’s no more pink left.


I also added some sliced mushrooms to the sauce because I had some in the fridge that were about to pass their prime.  I didn’t want to be responsible for a mushroomicide!


Then, add some juicy, ripe, diced tomatoes and simmer.  I used canned San Marzano tomatoes this time because the fresh tomatoes around here kind of suck right now.


Look at that gorgeous sauce! Don’t you want to just dive right into it?  If you don’t, you should.  It was amazing!  (By the way, have I mentioned how much I love that Scanpan skillet?  It’s the only pan I’ve ever found that gives me an actual crust on fish or meat on my crappy electric stove!)


Ah!  Pasta perfection!

And, in case you were wondering, I am not channeling Pioneer Woman with all of these process pictures.   I have the darkest kitchen in the world, and could never get bright, well-focused shots with my old point and shoot (kitchen) camera.   I rarely ever bring my DSLR into the kitchen because I’m always worried about splattering food on it and ruining it.  So, I recently bought a new point and shoot camera that has an awesome low light setting and I’m kind of going a little crazy with it.  Don’t worry.  I’m sure the novelty will wear off soon.

In the meantime, get yourself a copy of Thirty Minute Pasta so that you too can make fabulous meals like this!   Buy copies for your family and friends too.   The Holidays are coming and this book would make a great gift!

Rigatoni with a Roast Veal Sauce
adapted from Thirty Minute Pasta

I’ve given you the original recipe for this dish without my modifications.  If you’d like to also add diced onions and sliced mushrooms, do so in Step 3.  I added the onions first and sautéed them for about 4 minutes before I added the pancetta, sage and mushrooms.  As I noted above, I also used 1 pound of canned San Marzano tomatoes in this dish.  I was able to find the cans that are already diced.  If you can’t, use an equivalent amount of peeled whole tomatoes and chop them up yourself.  Just make sure to strain out the seeds before you add them to the sauce.


2 medium whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 ounce pancetta, diced in a 1/8-inch dice
1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
10-12 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
3/4 pound ground veal
Salt to taste
1 pound rigatoni pasta


1.  Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water.  Bring to a boil.

2.  Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  When butter begins to melt, add garlic cloves.  Sauté until lightly browned and remove.

3.  Add the pancetta and sage to the skillet and sauté briefly until pancetta loses its raw color, about 2 minutes.  Add the ground veal and salt and cook, stirring often, until veal begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes.

4.  Add the tomatoes and season with more salt, if needed.  Continue cooking over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10-12 minutes.

5.  While the sauce is simmering, cook the rigatoni according to the package directions.  Drain well and toss with the sauce.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.


25 responses to Rigatoni with a Roasted Veal Sauce

  1. On November 08, 2009 at 3:28am, alice said...

    Normally I am not a big fan of red sauce pasta dishes, but this looks very good! Thanks for sharing your recipe.. I am going to give it a try!

    • On November 08, 2009 at 10:41am, Susan said...

      Definitely give this a try, Alice. The sauce is not a traditional red sauce. It is light and “brothy”. :)

  2. On November 08, 2009 at 5:27am, Coleen said...

    Beautiful photography!! I have never cooked or eaten veal, so your post is intrigueing to me, looks delicious.

    • On November 08, 2009 at 10:43am, Susan said...

      Thanks! Ground veal is really great in pasta dishes. I tend to use it a lot, even mixing it with pork and beef for meatballs. I think you’ll like it. :)

  3. On November 08, 2009 at 5:42am, Rosa said...

    That sauce looks very tasty! A great pasta dish!



  4. On November 08, 2009 at 9:40am, Donna said...

    Susan this looks so good… and I loved all your step by step photos… It made me want to start cooking it right now… Thanks for the great recipe and YES I will head out to the bookstore and pick up a couple of copies for Christmas presents… Thanks


    • On November 08, 2009 at 10:45am, Susan said...

      Thanks, Donna! I must say, using more photos means I don’t have to think of as much “witty banter”. I guess a picture really does say a thousand words! 😉

  5. On November 08, 2009 at 10:16am, thecoffeesnob said...

    This looks great! I love that it uses butter instead of olive oil- butter just makes everything better!

  6. On November 08, 2009 at 11:00am, Tangled Noodle said...

    What I love about this dish is that it’s not dominated by a thick tomato sauce – I can see every bit of the ingredients that go into it. My husband asked for pasta this evening; how much would he love this?

    I rarely take photos outside of my lightbox but have been worrying that they are beginning to look the same. I enjoy these photos of food as it is being created but I can never seem to get the lighting just right. I’ll have to take a look at my manual and see if I have any lowlight settings!

    • On November 08, 2009 at 12:53pm, Susan said...

      I was feeling the same way about my photos. That low light setting has set me free! 😉

  7. On November 08, 2009 at 11:13am, Lael Hazan said...

    It has been a pleasure getting to know you too! Your photos make me famished!
    You are the one with the exhausting schedule! I’m very impressed with all you do!
    I love that you made the sauce your own.

    • On November 08, 2009 at 12:54pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Lael! You’re so lucky to have the “real deal” right there at home! 😀

  8. On November 08, 2009 at 4:25pm, Anne said...

    Just reading your bio, what a fabulous talented woman. I’ve only recently found your blog and it is always a delight to receive. Thank you.

    • On November 09, 2009 at 11:56pm, Susan said...

      Thank you so much, Anne! You’re very kind to say so, and you’ve made me blush! :)

  9. On November 08, 2009 at 4:32pm, Ivy said...

    Mmmmm, il gusto perfetto!! That sauce looks delicious.

  10. On November 08, 2009 at 5:28pm, Jenni said...

    Whew–glad you didn’t commit mushroomicide. Bad news, that! I think this is one of those preparations that could accommodate any changes the cook cares to make. Maybe some roasted red peppers? And I’m with you, onions in my sauce are pretty much a Must Have:)

  11. On November 08, 2009 at 6:19pm, JerzeeTomato said...

    I love watching anyone make good authetic pasta meals. There is much love in real home cooking.
    Susan this made me salivate, really!!!

  12. On November 09, 2009 at 1:28am, nina said...

    Butter, butter….yes!!!! Not only the butter, but all the flavors combine so well together!!!

  13. On November 09, 2009 at 11:11am, Carol, Simply...Gluten-free said...

    You have such famous friends! Will you still talk with the likes of nobody me? Great pix, can’t beieve from a point & shoot w/ low light!

  14. On November 09, 2009 at 2:44pm, The Food Hunter said...

    This looks delicious. I’ve got to get the book.

  15. On November 09, 2009 at 9:55pm, Amy J said...

    Yum. I shoulda stopped by earlier when I was trying to figure out what to cook tonight. And I love onions in all my sauces too – it’s hard not to always add ’em in – they’re so yummy in butter!

  16. On November 10, 2009 at 5:11am, Sylvia said...

    What a exciting meeting !! The past sounds incredible tasty, I will must try the recipe, We are pasta fans !!

  17. On November 11, 2009 at 5:22am, Von said...

    Yay for point and shoot cameras! Your photos are so good!
    The pasta looks delicious……:)

  18. On November 11, 2009 at 8:24am, Natalie said...

    Looks great and even though its morning right now, i am totally craving the leftovers of that (if you even had any) :)

  19. On November 11, 2009 at 10:24am, Jeff said...

    Carbs, butter, and veal???? Drooolll……must find book!

1 pings to Rigatoni with a Roasted Veal Sauce

  1. On November 08, 2009 at 3:38am, Tweets that mention Rigatoni with a Roasted Veal Sauce | Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy | A Blog About Food with a Little Life Stirred In -- Topsy.com pinged...

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Susan @ SGCC , Felice Lam. Felice Lam said: RT @StickyGooeyChef: New blog post: Rigatoni with a Roasted Veal Sauce http://bit.ly/2tEYAt [love that dish! nice pics!] […]

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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