Orecchiette with Veal, Capers and White Wine

Here is a tasty pasta dish that is quick enough to serve for dinner on a weeknight.

It uses orecchiette, which is a type of pasta, named for its resemblance to the shape of an ear.   To me they more resemble tiny little bowls.

I like how the little bowls ears cradle bits of the veal sauce. The little kid in me wants to pick up the little ears and scoop up bitefuls to pop into my mouth.

Then the grown-up part shoves the little kid aside, reminding me that cooked orecchiette is too floppy to make a decent scoop and I'd wind up dropping veal sauce all over my lap and onto the floor.

Nope ...  wouldn't mind a bit.

But I think a certain someone won't mind much.

Orecchiette with Veal, Capers and White Wine
Slightly adapted from Food & Wine
Serves 4

2 Tbl. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic (about 1 clove)
1 lb. ground veal (or chicken or turkey)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cup chicken broth (low sodium preferred)
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary(or 1 tsp. dried)
2 Tbl. capers, rinsed
1 12-oz. box orecchiette
1/4 loosely packed cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped
1 Tbl. margarine

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the ground veal, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up the veal, until the veal is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Carefully drain off any grease.  Return skillet to burner.

Thyme decided to drop in early.

Pour in the white wine and bring to a boil over high heat.

Continue to let boil until the wine is nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add chicken stock, thyme, rosemary and capers; cover and bring to a boil, then remove cover and reduce heat to medium-high.  Let simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

A little over-reduction.  No biggie, as it turned out..

Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette according to package directions; drain well. Stir into the meat mixture along with the chopped parsley and margarine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick and creamy, which takes only about 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide onto 4 dinner or pasta plates and serve hot.


Is that the little pasta shells that look like shells?
Pam said…
It looks and sounds delicious.
White wine and capers a winning combination! I love the orecchiette shape too.
dena @ohyoucook said…
Shells can substitute for the orecchiette in this recipe, but they are two different pastas.

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