About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Sauteed Breaded Veal Chops - Milanese Style | Main | Sautéed Veal Chops with Garlic, Anchovies and Parsley »

Sautéed Veal Chops with Sage and White Wine

No question, this was by far our favorite dish in the veal chapter.


It’s week thirty-one of sixty-two weeks. We are at our half-way point. I beg your indulgence while I take this opportunity to reflect on the journey.

What began as a fun challenge and a way to introduce home cooks to the teachings of the undisputed queen of Italian home cooking, has turned into a 62 week master course for me.

I think back to my first few recipes in the appetizer chapter and how I chaffed at the limitations on ingredients.

I think about the hard battle convincing me to abandon my more-is-better mindset.

I think about the sort of student I might have seemed to Marcella, had we been in a real class instead of this virtual classroom.

It's very likely she would have been tempted to throw a pot at me. She most certainly would have given me more than one verbal dressing-down.

I've always claimed to love 'real' cooking while not caring to bake. It's because I knew I couldn't tinker with a baking formula for risk of failure. But, so what if I substituted basil for sage in this veal dish? Adding garlic to a soup that doesn't call for it is just being creative, right? What's the big deal?

During these last thirty-one weeks, strict adherence to the recipes as a foundation of our challenge has served to slowly mature and refine my attitude toward classic Italian cooking. I've avidly read each and every day's post. I've more avidly read Marcella's comments. I am continually amazed and grateful that she takes us seriously; that she allows us to turn this into a learning experience; and especially that she cares enough about our success to always tell it like it is.

So, back to the subject at hand. Sautéed veal chops. Main ingredients: Veal chops, sage and wine. No basil, no garlic, no hot chili flakes, no kitchen sink.


The dried sage leaves added the perfect fragrance and flavor to the delicate veal during the sauté. The white wine during deglazing and then the silkiness of the butter rounded out the flavors.


We enjoyed our veal with a lovely Spanish table wine from the Toro region, and the Green Bean recipe from page 474. I'll be reporting on that dish on January 11th.


I admit to selfishly serving myself most of the fried sage leaves. I hope Dan didn't notice.

Comments (5)

Terry (teaberry):

Outstanding, Deborah! Both the looks of this dish, and the amazing cooking journey that all of you have taken, and so generously have brought us all along.

I am enjoying all of your cooking endeavors immensely. Many thanks to you all!

Deborah responds:
Thanks, Terry, for your kind words. Yes it has been amazing, and we still have 31 weeks to go!

Deborah, I really enjoyed this post and appreciate you sharing your feelings on this amazing journey you are on.

BTW, I think Marcella and Victor would have loved to have you in a Master Class! Heck, I would have loved to have been a co-student with you in a Master Class! Your attention to detail and enthusiasm for food and wine are apparent.


Marcella Hazan:

Dearest Deborah, I hope there is room here because I have a lot to say. Let me begin by quoting an abridged account, extrapolated from another blog, of cooking my pasta and sausages:

"The original recipe called for sweet sausage, containing no fennel seed, chili pepper, or other strong seasonings. Well, that was not going to cut it for me. I used Sicilian-style sausages, spicy, containing fennel seeds, in my opinion just what I was looking for in this dish. I left out the onion that the recipe called for since we don't do onion around here. Instead I chose red and yellow peppers. Instead of regular cream I used creme fraiche. I love its lemony tang. I left out the parmesan cheese, I just didn't feel it needed it. If I'd had some on hand I would have added parsley and next time chilli flakes to give it more pep."

In such a context, you can imagine the gratitude I feel for the respect you have shown my work. Not because I believe it is Holy Writ. Once tried, it is subject to infinite interpretations. But each recipe I have set down is the result of many trials and I have set down the one that reflects my understanding of the taste that one should look for. I had a message to transmit to my reader, a message about the idiomatic flavor of regional home cooking in Italy. I fully expect people to cook as they please and to rephrase the message, but how are they to rephrase it if first they do not heed it? Once again, to Deborah and to all the other, by now beloved, Pomodori, my humble thanks.

Deborah responds: That other blogger, could easily have been any one of us 31 weeks ago. It is the decision we made to stick to the recipes as written that has proven to be the hidden blessing. And as we've all indicated, the best part for us is your participation in the comments. And thank you also for continuing to suggest that your facebook friends follow our efforts.

And speaking of sausage, let us not forget your wonderful sausage quest!

Deborah responds: LOL, Susie. Yes, that was fun. Actually, I just talked to my sausage connection the other day to have her do a new batch - this time to ship to Marcella and Victor.

I loved the story of your culinary journey for the past 31 weeks. And I loved Marcella's response.

I salute all of the Pomodori cooks in taking on this project and being so faithful to the content and spirit of the recipes. This has been a project you will always remember.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 26, 2010 6:09 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Sauteed Breaded Veal Chops - Milanese Style .

The next post in this blog is Sautéed Veal Chops with Garlic, Anchovies and Parsley.

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