Vitello Stracciato con le Verdure

Sautéed Veal Strips with Vegetables

While I was working on the recipe, I was moved to develop another, more exuberant version, adding olives, other vegetables, pancetta affumicata—bacon—and omitting the cream. It is curiously suggestive of a Chinese dish, yet it is accomplished through procedures that are unmistakably Italian. It further confirms my long-held belief that, of all other cuisines, the one the spirit of Italian cooking has most in common with is the Chinese.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • cups onion sliced not too thin (about ¼ inch)
  • 2 ounces bacon, cut into ¼-inch strips, about ½ cup
  • 1 medium garlic clove, sliced very thin
  • 3 medium carrots, washed, peeled, and cut into sticks 2 inches long and ¼ inch thick, about cups
  • 2 cups altogether of mixed green, red, and yellow bell peppers, peeled and cut into ¼-inch strips (if yellow peppers are unobtainable, use the green and red alone for a total of 2 cups)
  • 10 ounces fresh mushrooms, wiped clean with a moist cloth and sliced as thin as possible
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • 1 pound veal scaloppine, cut into strips 3 inches long and 1 inch wide
  • 10 black Greek-style olives, pitted

Method

  1. Choose a sauté pan that can later accommodate all the ingredients. Put in 2 tablespoons of the butter, the vegetable oil, onion, bacon, and garlic and turn on the heat to medium. Cook, turning the onion over from time to time, until it is tender and becomes colored a medium gold.
  2. Add the carrot sticks and cook for 5 minutes, turning them over occasionally.
  3. Add the peeled pepper strips and turn up the heat to medium high. Cook the pepper until it is tender, stirring 3 or 4 times. When the pepper is tender, transfer all the vegetables from the pan to a platter, using a slotted spoon.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the pan with a little salt and cook them, stirring frequently, over high heat so that all the liquid they throw off will evaporate quickly.
  5. Return the cooked vegetables in the platter to the pan, add salt and several grindings of pepper, and cook over high heat for 1 minute, turning and mixing all the vegetables to favor an exchange of flavors. Do not add the vegetables to the mushrooms until all the mushroom liquid has evaporated; otherwise they will become mushy, and their flavor will be diluted.
  6. Transfer the contents of the pan to a bowl, using a slotted spoon or spatula so that as much of the cooking fat as possible remains in the pan. When, after a minute or two, the fat clinging to the vegetables has dripped to the bottom of the bowl, pour it back into the pan.
  7. When ready to serve, turn on the heat under the pan to high and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. When the fat is hot, add the veal strips. Cook over highest heat for little more than 1 minute, turning the meat over constantly. Add salt and pepper, return the vegetables to the pan, add the olives, turn everything over 3 or 4 times, then serve at once.

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