Why does springtime give me a heavy jones for classic Italian food? Who knows? I don’t really care what the answer is. I learned how to make these recipes in Florence from the cooks who work at Trattoria Sostanza. The key with the classic Tuscan-style crostini is to mince everything as fine as possible—I often pulse in a food processor to achieve the right effect. The veal with tuna sauce is one of the best dishes in the world and may sound odd to some, but the sauce is AMAZING.
Crostini di Fegato
1 lb. chicken livers, minced fine
3 T. olive oil
1/4 c. minced celery
1/4 c. minced onion
1/4 c. minced carrot
1/4 c. minced cremini mushrooms
4 basil leaves
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 T. fresh rosemary, leaved
Pinch hot pepper flakes
2 T. minced garlic
1/2 c. veal stock
1 c. dry red wine
Heat the oil in a 2 qt. heavy pot over medium heat. Add the vegetables, herbs, and seasonings. Sauté for 5 minutes or so, stirring, and add the livers. When livers are no longer pink, add the stock and wine. Lowering heat to maintain a simmer, cook for 45–50 minutes or until pan is “dry."
Season well and serve warm on small pieces of grilled bread.
3 lb. boneless, milk-fed veal shoulder or leg—trimmed, rolled,
3 garlic cloves
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
2 c. white wine
8 oz. imported Italian olive oil packed tuna
8 anchovy filets
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
3 T. capers . . . I like the salt-packed capers, rehydrated and
rinsed in several changes of water
1 1/4 c. mayonnaise, preferably homemade
Oil-cured black olives
Combine drained tuna, capers, anchovies, oil, and lemon juice in a food processor until it becomes a beige paste. Fold in the mayo to taste. Refrigerate.
Place wine, vegetables, veal, garlic, parsley, and bay into a large, heavy pan. Cover with water. Bring to a low boil and lower heat. Simmer slowly for roughly 90 minutes. Allow meat to cool in the stock for 20–25 minutes.
Remove veal and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Cut veal into thin slices.
Spread some sauce on the bottom of a platter. Place veal slices onto the sauce. Add another layer of sauce, then veal, then sauce. Garnish with the lemons, chervil, and olives.