Polpettine di Vitello alla Panna Rosa

Veal Patties With Pink Cream

For these patties, ground veal is mixed with parsley, a small amount of garlic, Parmesan, an egg, and soft bread crumb soaked in milk. They are sautéed in butter and tossed with a light, quick tomato and cream sauce. It is a dish originally prepared for children, but there must be something of the child in grown-up palates, for I have found it equally appealing to adults.


  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup crumb (the soft, crustless part) from good-quality white bread
  • 1 pound ground veal, preferably the shoulder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chopped very fine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano (Parmesan)
  • 1 egg
  • cup fine, dry, unflavored bread crumbs, toasted in an oven or pan as described
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup canned Italian peeled plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan without letting it come to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the soft bread crumb, allowing it to soak until it becomes thoroughly saturated.
  2. Pick up the crumb with your hand, squeeze it to drain away excess milk, and put it in a mixing bowl. Add the ground veal, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, the grated cheese, and the egg. Mix well with a fork, amalgamating all the ingredients into a uniform mixture.
  3. Spread the dry bread crumbs on a plate. Make flat patties from the veal mixture about 2½ to 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Dredge them in the bread crumbs, coating them well on both sides.
  4. Choose a lidded sauté pan that can later accommodate all the patties without overlapping. Put in the butter and oil and turn on the heat to medium high. When the butter and oil are hot, put in the patties, keeping the pan uncovered. When the patties have formed a nice brown crust on one side, turn them over. When the other side has formed a crust, add the cut-up tomatoes with their juice.
  5. Turn the patties once or twice with the tomatoes, then turn down the heat to medium low, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Uncover the pan and put in the cream. Stir once or twice and cook until the cream becomes reduced, turning into a deep pink sauce.