Sicilians prepare this dish from the boned and rolled calf’s head, which is available already prepared in all good butchers’ shops. This is then singed over an open flame at home and scraped to remove bristles. It then needs washing and blanching. If you manage to buy a head, ask your butcher to bone and roll it. However, the sauce is so good, and the garnish attractive, that the recipe translates well to the expensive cuts of veal, like shoulder or leg.
Put the meat in a pan, add a little salt and the carrot, celery, and the onion pieces with the cloves stuck into one of the pieces, and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, fry the onion in the oil and butter in a separate pan for about 10 minutes over a low heat, then add the passata. Stir and season, then simmer for about 1 hour, adding the milk halfway through.
Drain the veal and cut it into neat slices, then slide them back into the sauce. Make sure the meat is completely covered in sauce and simmer gently for no more than 10 minutes.
Arrange the meat on a warm serving dish with the sauce poured over it. Scatter the parsley, lemon rind and sage over the top and serve at once with potatoes and a simple vegetable dish.
© 1995 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.